A YouTube playlist compiled by British blogger and investigator Eliot Higgins was posted online early this morning, documenting the aftermath of an alleged chemical weapons attack in the Ghouta region of East Damascus, Syria. A child in a Ninja Turtles t-shirt screamed and covered his mouth with a damp cloth as others around him shouted and covered their faces next to a bombed-out caravan.
(Warning: The videos embedded in this story contain graphic material.)
Of the 75 videos in the playlist, many depict children in field hospital beds, coughing, shaking, and writhing in pain. An activist interviewed by the New York Times estimated the death toll to be in the hundreds.
This morning Higgins told me that the attack seemed like it stemmed from chemical weapons, adding that "the symptoms are pretty consistent with other attacks I've seen, but on a much larger scale."
The attack comes just days after UN weapons inspectors landed in Damascus to begin a probe into the alleged use of chemical weapons. The investigation had previously been delayed for months due largely to President Bashar Assad's reluctance for a broader investigation, despite his originally asking the UN to carry out investigations into rebel use of chemical weapons in an alleged attack outside the city of Aleppo.