On April 13, the Ministry of Defense of Russia released a video showing testimonies of two doctors who were on duty at a Duma hospital when the alleged chemical attack took place in the Syrian town on April 7.
In the video, one of the two doctors “Kahlil al-Jaysh” said that the hospital received several civilians who had been injured in an airstrike of the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) on Duma in the morning of April 8. Dr. al-Jaysh said that the airstrike had hit the last floor of a building causing fire. This led to the suffocation of some civilians who were trapped in the lower floors of the building.
While the doctors were treating the injured civilians, a man shouted in the hospital’s emergency room that the injures were caused by “a chemical attack,” which led to chaos, according to Dr. al-Jaysh.
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— iad tawil (@iadtawil) 13 April 2018
“While treating the people who were suffocated by smoke and dust, one of the people who was present said that the strike was a chemical attack, which led the people in the area [hospital] to deal with the cases as injuries caused by chemical weapons.” Dr. al-Jaysh said in the video released by the Ministry of Defense of Russia.
Moreover, the two doctors stressed in the video that there had been no symptoms proving a chemical weapons use. Both doctors were also able to prove their presence in the emergency room of Duma hospital during the incident via a video published a Syrian opposition news outlet.
Several experts suggested before that a carbon monoxide poisoning might be behind the deaths of the Duma attack victims. The Syrian Observatory from Human Rights (SOHR) even reported from day one that carbon monoxide poisoning had been behind the deaths of the civilians who were trapped in a basement from a long time after the airstrike.
Syrian pro-government sources noted that both doctors could have left Duma district under the evacuation agreement between the Damascus government and Jaysh al-Islam but they opted to stay. This makes the testimonies of these two doctors more credible.