BEIRUT – Syrian state media said on Thursday rebels had used “poisonous substances” against Syrian troops east of Damascus on Wednesday, without specifying the type of chemical used.
The spokesman for Jaish al Islam, a dominant rebel faction in the area, said the government was lying. “Terrorist organizations yesterday attacked a Syrian Army position in Eastern Ghouta, in the Damascus countryside, using poisonous substances which had effects on the nervous system which harmed a number of the troops by suffocation and respiratory problems,” said SANA, reporting a military source. The statement did not say which groups it believed carried out the attack. The Syrian government refers to all factions fighting against it as terrorists.