On Tuesday April 4, around 6:30 a.m. the Syrian regime warplanes bombed Khan Shaykhun town in Idlib southern countryside with four air strikes. One of these raids was carried out in the northern neighborhood of the town and was loaded with toxic gases.

Bombing killed dozens of civilians and injured hundreds with suffocation due to inhaling toxic gases. According to the statistics issued by the Syrian Civil Defense, the raids killed 89 people including 33 children and 19 women and injured 541 others with symptoms of moderate to severe suffocation and poisoning. Several were rescued to Turkish hospitals while 6 of them lost their lives later according to statements issued by the Turkish Ministry of Health.

This is not the first time the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons. On March 2013, sarin gas was first used to target Khan al-Asal in Aleppo, causing more than 22 deaths and 250 injuries. On 21/8/2013, the chemical weapon was used in Eastern Ghouta killing more than 613 civilians and injuring hundreds by cases of suffocation (Syrian Network For Human Rights).

Local activists stated to the Syrian Centre for Journalistic Freedoms that after the use of toxic gases by the regime to bomb Khan Shaykhun, the Russian warplanes launched more than a dozen air raids on the town directly targeted the Civil Defense Center and Rahma hospital, which put the hospital out of service.

The SCJF in the Syrian Journalists Association documented the injury of 13 media professionals with suffocation and minor wounds on that day because of the Syrian and Russian bombardment. The professionals were doing their media duty in documenting events.

The Syrian Center for Journalistic Freedoms in the Syrian Journalists Association calls for respect for the freedom of the press, the safety of workers in the media field and holding accountable those responsible for violations that affect all civilians, including media professionals , and calls upon the actors in Syria and the international parties concerned to enforce international laws for the protection and defense of journalists, the freedom of the press and the right to transfer information in Syria.

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