By Jardine Malado
Christian charities are working to deliver emergency aid to Syria after the town of Douma was hit with a chemical attack on Saturday, leaving at least 40 people dead.
More than 500 people exhibiting symptoms “indicative of exposure to a chemical agent” have been brought to medical centers in Douma on Saturday, according to The Syrian-American Medical Society.
Monitoring groups have suspected that the chemicals used in the attack were a mix of Chlorine gas and the nerve agent Sarin.
Humanitarian aid group World Help is sending food, medicine and clean water to Syrians who have fled the area.
“For seven years, the people of Syria have known no respite from a relentless, cruel and bloody war,” said World Help CEO Vernon Brewer, as reported by CBN News.
“Right now is their time of greatest need, and the Syrian people desperately need our help. We may not be able to stop the bombs or end the gunfire, but we can certainly deliver aid to people in need and bring hope to those who are hurting and hopeless,” he added.
Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is also sending supplies help to the affected families.
“The people of Syria have been living through unimaginable pain and suffering for the past seven years, as the conflict has caused terrible devastation,” said ACN’s John Pontifex, according to Premier.
ACN, which has completed 143 aid projects in Syria in the last year, is also offering pastoral help to the survivors.
The attack came after government forces resumed operations against the rebels holding Douma following the collapse of a 10-day truce.
The Syrian government has tried to deflect the blame for the attacks, saying the reports were invented by the Jaish al-Islam rebels, who have control of Douma.
The pro-opposition Ghouta Media Center noted that a barrel bomb containing Sarin was dropped from a helicopter.
Medical groups had difficulty reaching victims of the chemical attack due to the shelling that went on until Sunday.
On Saturday, U.S. President Donald Trump condemned the gas attack and vowed to carry out a “forceful” response.
Douma is the last rebel-held town in eastern Ghouta, which was also hit by a chemical attack in 2013.
Last year, more than 80 people were killed following a gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun. An investigation conducted by the U.N. and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) concluded that the Syrian government was responsible for the attack.