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Struggle to identify Syrian orphans after 'gas attack'

A Syrian filmmaker has said hospital workers in Damascus are struggling to identify babies who survived the alleged chemical attack because their parents may already be dead and buried.

Speaking on Skype, Humam Husari told ITV News a large number of bodies were buried before they had been identified.


ITV News footage shows Syria 'gas attack' horror

World leaders are facing diplomatic deadlock over Syria, caught between video evidence that strongly suggests a chemical attack, and the absence of concrete evidence.

Footage obtained by ITV News shows the aftermath of the alleged attack: Men, women and children lying dead where they fell.

Whatever killed them will have dispersed quickly, meaning that their bodies are likely to be the only evidence about its nature.

ITV News correspondent Paul Davies reports:

Hague: Chemical attack is 'only possible explanation'

"We do believe that this is a chemical attack by the Assad regime on a large scale," Foreign Secretary William Hague said today.

"It is now 48 hours since the reports started to come in of what seems to have been a terrible atrocity near Damascus including the use of chemical weapons.

"This is not something that a humane or civilised world can ignore," he said. "The only possible explanation of what we've been able to see is that it was a chemical attack."

He said the UN's priority was to allow inspectors onto the sites of the attacks but so far that had not been allowed.

"Already it seems that the Assad regime has something to hide - why else wouldn't they allow the UN team to go there?"

Hague said he hoped to speak to the Russian foreign minister later today.


Swedish minister believes Syrian forces behind attack

Sweden's foreign minister Carl Bildt has said he believes Syrian forces are to blame for the alleged chemical attack, based on the evidence he has seen.

Writing in Swedish on his official blog, Mr Bildt said:

I have a hard time coming to any conclusion other than that a deadly chemical substance has been used in the attack carried out by the regime's forces between Tuesday and Wednesday on this opposition-controlled area.

– carl bildt, swedish foreign minister

He also said that if such an attack was confirmed by UN inspectors, he believes it would force Russia to reconsider its position and perhaps result in stronger action by the UN Security Council.

Obama: Alleged use of chemical weapons 'a big event'

US President Barack Obama has described allegations of a chemical attack in Syria as a "big event of grave concern" and said that it would be "very troublesome" if they were verified.

He told CNN's 'New Day' programme that he does no expect the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad to cooperate, based on previous experience.

Asked about the so-called "red line" that he previously said a chemical attack would represent, he admitted he still had to look at the latest event in detail.

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