Syrians trade accusations of chemical attack

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Syrian regime, insurgents trade accusations of chemical attack

DAMASCUS, Syria — Syria’s government and rebels traded accusations of a chemical attack today on a northern village near Aleppo. However a U.S. official said there was no evidence of any such attack.

The regime, whose allegation was backed by ally Russia, said 25 people were killed.

The reports could not be independently verified because of tight media restrictions, particularly in government-controlled areas which are virtually shut to all foreign media and outside observers.

The regime is believed to possess nerve agents as well as mustard gas. It also possesses Scud missiles capable of delivering them, and some activists said Tuesday’s attack was with a Scud missile.

One of the international community’s top concerns since fighting began is that Syria’s vast arsenal of chemical weapons could be used by one side or the other or could fall into the hands of foreign jihadist fighters among the rebels or the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which is allied with the regime.

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