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IPFS News Link • Syria

These Elite Chemical Weapons Detectives Can Prove Who's Behind Deadly Attacks

•, Bryan Gardiner

The first bomb landed shortly after sunrise on April 4, 2017, in Khan Shaykhun. Unlike the three that would explode ­moments later in other parts of the rebel-­controlled ­Syrian town, this one produced ­little noise and even less physical ­damage, leaving behind a jagged 5-foot-wide-by-20-inch-deep crater in an otherwise empty road. ­Minutes earlier, a group of volunteer rescue workers in town had received an ominous alert: Spotters had observed a Syrian Armed Forces bomber taking off from Shayrat airbase 68 miles away, and it was likely carrying a chemical payload. "Guys, tell people to wear masks," the voice on the other end of the walkie-?­talkie implored. Most of the town's 16,000 residents were in bed or getting ready for work when a milky-white cloud began to spread near the bombed-out bakery and grain silos shortly after 6:30 a.m. The first people on the scene arrived to find bodies lying on the ground outside and in homes, with no signs of blunt trauma. Some had bluish lips and were convulsing. Others foamed from the mouth and nose. Nearly all of them had pinpoint pupils.