The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on Sunday opened an investigation into recent attacks in Syria's besieged, opposition-held eastern Ghouta to determine whether prohibited weapons had been used; Reuters reported citing exclusive diplomatic sources.
According to the sources, The Hague based watchdog will investigate reports of repeated use of chlorine bombs this month in eastern Ghouta near the capital Damascus.
The health department in an area controlled by the Syrian opposition said in a statement that people suffered from symptoms similar to those that follow exposure to chlorine gas which killed one child.
The statement, issued by the local branch of the Ministry of Health in the Syrian Interim opposition government, said the victims, which include two ambulance paramedics, inhaled chlorine gas after a "massive explosion" in the Shifuniya district of eastern Ghouta. The statement added that at least 18 people were treated after the explosion with oxygen inhalers.
On Sunday, the Russian defence ministry accused the opposition fighters of preparing to use toxic substances in eastern Ghouta and point blame at the Syrian regime.