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DFA monitors situation of Filipinos after deadly chemical attack in Syria

Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose yesterday said they have not received a report of any Filipino casualty in the deadly chemical attack in Syria.

Jose said they are also monitoring the situation of over 1,400 Pinoys  still in Syria following the United States’ massive airstrike in the country.
   
Over 50 Tomahawk missiles launched from US Navy destroyers in the Mediterranean Sea targetted Syria’s Shayrat airbase, believed to be the site from where the chemical weapons were dispatched.
   
Jose said the airstrikes were aimed at the airbase and not at civilian centers where most Filipinos reside.
   
“Our Embassy in Damascus is monitoring the situation very closely and is in close coordination with the Filipino community to ensure their safety,” Jose said.
   
At least 86 people, including 27 children, were killed on Tuesday when chemical weapons were unleashed on rebel-held  Khan Sheikhun in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib allegedly by  the Syrian government.
   
Health officials from Turkey said results of post-mortems performed on victims point to possible exposure to sarin, a lethal nerve agent that can kill in minutes.
   
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government has denied the use of chemical weapons and even claimed never using such despite sufficient evidence found by UN investigators that it had used chlorine gas against civilians twice before between 2014 and 2015.
   
Syria has been the site of a civil war for over half a decade -- claiming obver 250,000 lives and forcing millions of others to flee their homes.
   
For several years now, Crisis Alert Level 4 (mandatory repatriation) has been raised in war-torn Syria.
   
“Our Embassy will assist whoever would like to return to Philippines,” Jose said.