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The Latest: Turkey: 3 more victims from Syria attack die


The Turkish Health Ministry says three victims of a suspected chemical attack in northern Syria have died while being treated in Turkey.
The Latest on the suspected chemical attack in Syria (all times local):
6:40 p.m.
The Turkish Health Ministry says three victims of a suspected chemical attack in northern Syria have died while being treated in Turkey.
A ministry statement said Wednesday that 29 people wounded in the attack were still being cared for in hospitals in the country.
Turkey set up a decontamination center at a border crossing in the province of Hatay following the attack where the victims are initially treated before being moved to area hospitals.
6:20 p.m.
Israeli defense officials say military intelligence believes Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces were behind the suspected chemical attack that killed dozens of civilians.
The officials said Israel believes Assad has tons of chemical weapons currently in his arsenal. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday as they are not allowed to brief media.
Israel has warned against “game-changing” weapons reaching Hezbollah in Lebanon from Syria, which along with Iran supports the militant group. Last month Israel shot down an anti-aircraft missile fired at its planes as they struck a suspected Hezbollah weapons convoy.
Chemical weapons have killed hundreds of people since the start of Syria’s civil war, with the U. N. blaming three attacks on the Syrian government and a fourth on the Islamic State group.
—Ian Deitch in Jerusalem
6:15 p.m.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has blamed a suspected chemical attack that killed at least 72 people in northern Syria on the Syrian regime and has accused the world of not speaking out against the attack.
Addressing crowds in northwest Turkey on Wednesday, Erdogan said Syrian President Bashar Assad would suffer “from the curse” of the victims while the United Nations would be called to account for its alleged silence.
Erdogan, while campaigning for an upcoming referendum that would expand the president’s powers, said, “Oh murderer Assad, how will you escape their curse? The United Nations who remained silent; how will it account for this? ”
Erdogan also said Turkey was caring for some of the victims who were brought to the country.
He said: “We are doing our best but this is not enough … I am sad as a father. Those children’s situations are wounding our hearts. ”
6:10 p.m.
Britain’s U. N. ambassador says the attack in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province “bears all the hallmarks” of President Bashar Assad’s regime and the United Kingdom believes a nerve agent capable of killing over a hundred people was used.
Matthew Rycroft told an emergency meeting of the U. N. Security Council on Wednesday that Russia has said a government airstrike struck an opposition depot for munitions.
He said the U. K. has seen nothing that suggests any opposition groups “have the sort of chemical weapons that would be consistent with the symptoms that we saw yesterday,”
“We have every indication that this was a sustained attack using aircraft over a number of hours,” Rycroft said. “We see all the signs of an attack using a nerve agent capable of killing over a hundred people and harming hundreds more. ”
He said only one air force has used such weapons in Syria and it is Assad’s air force.
He urged support for the new resolution drafted by Britain, France and the United States condemning chemical attacks in Syria and urging government cooperation in an investigation and consequences.
5:50 p.m.
The international medical charity Doctors Without Borders (known by its French acronym MSF) says victims of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria one day ago showed symptoms of exposure to nerve gas.
The group said victims the symptoms — constricted pupils, muscle spasms, and involuntary defecation — were consistent with exposure to sarin gas or similar agents.
An MSF medical team evaluated patients at the Bab al-Hawa Hospital near the Turkish border, in Syria, the group said in a statement Wednesday. The flow of victims of the attack Tuesday morning attack in Khan Sheikhoun overwhelmed local hospitals, and paramedics sent patients to medical centers across Idlib province and in neighboring Turkey.
MSF said its medical teams reported smelling bleach at other hospitals treating victims, suggesting they were also exposed to chlorine gas. The organization said the reports “strongly suggest that victims… were exposed to at least two different chemical agents. ”
Sarin gas was used in a 2013 chemical weapons attack on opposition suburbs around the Syrian capital of Damascus, the U. N. has reported, killing hundreds of civilians. The U. S. said the Syrian government was responsible.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said it removed 1,300 tons of chemical weapons stocks, including sarin gas, from Syrian government stores after the Damascus area attacks. But rebels and opposition officials have maintained that the government held on to some of its stockpiles.
5:20 p.m.
A top Syrian rebel representative says he holds U. N. mediator Staffan De Mistura “personally responsible” for the suspected chemical weapons attack that killed more than 70 people in northern Syria one day ago.
Mohammad Alloush, the rebels’ chief negotiator at U. N.-mediated talks with the Syrian government, said the U. N.’s Special Envoy for Syria’s must begin labeling the Syrian government as responsible for killing civilians. He said U. N.’s silence “legitimizes” the strategy.
“The true solution for Syria is to put (Syrian President) Bashar Assad the chemical weapons user in court, and not at the negotiations table,” said Alloush, who is an official in the Islam Army faction among the Syrian rebels.
Syria’s rebels, and the Islam Army in particular, are also accused of killing civilians in Syria, but rights watchdogs attribute the overwhelming portion of civilian causalities over the course of the six-year-war to the actions of government forces and their allies.
5:10 p.m.
A proposed U. N. Security Council resolution would condemn the use of chemical weapons in Syria and stress the government’s obligation to provide information about air operations on Tuesday when a suspected chemical attack killed dozens of people.
The resolution drafted by Britain, France and the United States would also stress Syria’s requirement to give investigators the names of those in command of any helicopter squadrons on April 4.
And it calls for immediate access for investigators to air bases where attacks involving chemical weapons may have been launched.
Sponsors were hoping for a vote as early as Wednesday afternoon on the draft resolution.
The Security Council was holding an emergency meeting on the suspected attack in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province, one of the deadliest in the six-year civil war.
5 p.m.
The Russian Foreign Ministry says it opposes a Western draft U. N. resolution condemning a chemical attack in Syria.
The ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said Wednesday the draft blames the Syrian government for Tuesday’s attack without any credible investigation.
Zakharova said that video and photo evidence of the attack presented by volunteer first responders could have been fabricated. She blamed the West for staging a “political show” and called for an international probe.
Tuesday’s attack on Khan Sheikhoun has killed 72, causing an international outcry. Washington has put the blame on the Syrian government, saying that President Bashar Assad’s patrons, Russia and Iran, bore “great moral responsibility” for it.
The Russian military said the chemicals were released after Syrian warplanes bombed a facility where rebels were making their own chemical weapons.
4:15 p.m.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says Britain and the United States were wrong when they failed to act against Syrian President Bashar Assad in 2013 after he crossed their “red line” and used chemical weapons.
Speaking at a donor conference for Syria a day after a new suspected chemical attack killed dozens of people, Johnson said “we are living today with the consequences, and I’m afraid the people of Syria are living today with the consequences, of that decision. ”
He said that with an estimated 400,000 people killed in Syria’s six-year conflict, Assad has to go.
Johnson said Assad “is responsible for the vast majority of that butcher’s bill, and you have to go back a long way in history to find a tyrant who has stayed in office in such circumstances. ”
4 p.m.
Russia says it will submit information from its Defense Ministry to a U. N. Security Council session called to discuss a suspected chemical attack in Syria that killed dozens of people.
Western countries say evidence indicates that Syrian pro-government forces were behind Tuesday’s attack on the opposition-held town of Khan Sheikhoun. Russia is a close ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad and is waging an air campaign on his behalf.
The Russian military has said the chemicals were released after Syrian warplanes bombed a facility where rebels were making their own chemical weapons.
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, said that at the U. N. meeting Russia “will at least cite in a well-argued manner those data that were mentioned by our Defense Ministry. ”
3 p.m.
French president Francois Hollande is condemning what he calls a “war crime” after a suspected chemical attack in Syria.
Government spokesman Stephane Le Foll reported Hollande’s comments Wednesday during a weekly Cabinet meeting.
Hollande recalled that France had pushed for an international military campaign against Syrian President Bashar Assad over his use of chemical weapons in 2013.
“France has not changed its position on this issue”, he said according to Le Foll.
France has supported Syrian rebels against Assad for years.
2:40 p.m.
Turkish officials have raised the number of Syrians being treated in Turkey after a suspected chemical attack to 58.

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