According to reports sockets with toxic agents were launched at the Damascus suburbs of the Ghouta region early on Wednesday as part of a major bombardment on rebel forces.
Footage uploaded to YouTube (embedded below)from the scene by activists shows many people being treated in makeshift hospitals. The videos show victims, including many children, having convulsions. Others are apparently immobile and have difficulty breathing.
According to Assad's Syria's state-run news agency the reports were "baseless" and an attempt to distract the inspectors.
If the report/videos are true it indicates the desperation of the government not only for using these weapons, but using them while the Inspectors are in is country.
Chemical weapons do not result in a pleasant death. Initial symptoms following exposure to sarin are a runny nose, tightness in the chest and constriction of the pupils. Soon after, the victim has difficulty breathing and experiences nausea and drooling. As the victim continues to lose control of bodily functions, the victim vomits, defecates and urinates. This phase is followed by twitching and jerking. Ultimately, the victim becomes comatose and suffocates in a series of convulsive spasms.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague has already called for the Syrian government "to allow immediate access to the area" for the investigators.
"I am deeply concerned by reports that hundreds of people, including children, have been killed in airstrikes and a chemical weapons attack on rebel-held areas near Damascus," Hague said. "These reports are uncorroborated and we are urgently seeking more information. But it is clear that if they are verified, it would mark a shocking escalation in the use of chemical weapons in Syria."The Arab League echoed that call and the UN is trying to sort it all out.
"We are aware of the reports and we are trying to find out more," U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said about the allegations.One report indicates that over 600 people have died so far.
The explosions took place in eastern and western Ghouta, rebel strongholds that the regime has for more than a year been desperately trying to take back. They don't want rebels pushing into the capital.
"The inspectors will not come," said a resident who didn't want his real name used. "If they wanted to come, they would have come a long time ago.
"The Assad regime determines where the inspectors go, and they will not let them go there. There is already a siege around Eastern Ghouta from the Assad regime."
Overall the US has no dog in this hunt. It is a battle between the Syrian Govt. which is a Russian satellite, and the rebels who are mostly controlled by al Qaeda. However if weapons of Mass destruction are used the US (and the world) may legitimately look for a way to disarm/destroy those weapons so they cannot be used again. America's only fundamental interest is those chemical weapons and making sure they don't fall into the hands of the rebel forces who work for al Qaeda, the al-Nusra Front.
Below is one of the videos posted by the Rebels..warning it is not pleasant to watch!