Around 100 Syrians have been hospitalized with breathing difficulties in Aleppo, state media and a monitor said Sunday, amid allegations that rebels fired "toxic gas" into the regime-held city the previous day.
Warplanes struck rebel positions in Aleppo's countryside on Sunday, hours after the Syrian government accused rebels of launching a poison gas attack, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
It's not clear who carried out the attack, but Syria's state news agency quoted a local commander as blaming "terrorist groups," while Russian Federation accused militants of firing mortar rounds containing chlorine on the city's northwestern districts.
On September 17, Turkey and Russian Federation inked the Sochi agreement; however, 37 civilians have been killed by the regime and ally attacks in Idlib de-escalation zone since then whereas scores of civilians were left injured.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said regime ally Russian Federation "likely" carried out the air strikes on a planned buffer zone around the opposition bastion of Idlib.
Syria's state news agency SANA reported "107 cases of breathing difficulties".
Zaher Batal, the head of the Aleppo Doctors Syndicate told Reuters, "We cannot know the kinds of gases, but we suspected chlorine and treated patients on this basis because of the symptoms".
Nobody has claimed the Aleppo attack so far.
Rebel commanders and opposition figures discredited the government reports, denying they lobbed gas into Aleppo and accusing Damascus of seeking to undermine an existing cease-fire and efforts to kickstart political talks. "This is purely a lie", he wrote on Twitter. State TV later said the gas affected two other areas in the city.
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Rebel spokesman Mustafa Sejari also denied the accusations, saying they came after government shells landed in rebel-held areas, violating a Russian-backed ceasefire.
A teacher and four schoolchildren were among the victims after the shelling hit near a school in the northwestern province of Idlib, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The dominant force among an array of factions holding sway in Idlib is Tahrir Al-Sham, an alliance led by fighters formerly linked to Al-Qaeda.
Mr Assad's Government has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons in the war.
During the seven-year Syrian conflict, the West has accused Damascus on a number of occcasions of using chemical weapons against the civilian population.
Earlier this month, Moscow accused insurgents of trying to wreck the deal, while rebels accused the Syrian army and its allies of attacking the region.
The city of Aleppo is held by the government of Bashar al-Assad.
Shortly before the strikes began, Russia's defense ministry in a briefing blamed the toxic attack on rebels in the country, who they claimed used chemical weapons containing chlorine.