Three Syrian rebels wounded last week in an alleged chemical weapons attack by the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad received medical treatment in Israel, Seth Frantzman reported in The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
The Syrian casualties were transferred to Ziv Medical Center in Safed, according to multiple sources in Israel. The hospital was not available for comment. If true, it would be the first time that victims of a chemical weapon attack from Syria were taken to the Jewish state.
The assault was part of an ongoing campaign by the Syrian government and allies, including the Iran-backed Lebanese terror organization Hezbollah, to retake an area around Mazra’at Beit Jinn near the Hermon mountains.
“The [Syrian regime] forces shelled a strategic site controlled by the rebels named ‘Bardaya Hill,’ and three of the rebels who suffered suffocation as a result of the gases were sent to Israel for treatment,” Abo Omar al Golany, spokesman for the Revolutionary Command Council in Quneitra and the Golan, told the Post. “Helicopters belonging to the Assad regime threw explosive drums containing toxic gases on the hill,” he added.
Al Golany further noted that the chemicals dropped in the attack were believed to be chlorine, which has been used by regime forces in the past.
“In recent weeks, Assad was trying to push an offensive and there was difficult fighting on the night of the 15th-16th,” another source told the newspaper. “They hit [the rebels] from helicopters and used gas in at least three places. The same day, the wounded came to Israel.” A separate source familiar with events on the ground also confirmed that Syrian rebels suffering from the effects of chemical weapons had sought treatment in Israel.
Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz advocated in April aiding children who were victims of a chemical weapons attack in Khan Shaykhun, in the Idlib region of northern Syria. “I see it as our obligation as Jews and Israelis to provide assistance to those wounded in the gas attacks in Syria, among them many children,” he said, according to Ynet.
United States Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley issued a sharp warning to the Syrian regime on November 16, “The Assad regime should be on clear notice: the United States does not accept Syria’s use of chemical weapons. We will defend the international standard against chemical weapons use. It would be wise for the Assad regime to heed this warning.”
Israel has treated over 3,000 Syrian patients since the outbreak of the brutal civil war, including almost 1,000 children with chronical conditions. On Sunday, a television news report showed the IDF opening the border gates allowing a group of 21 mothers and 23 children to enter Israel for medical treatment.
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