Syria’s opposition accused government forces of gassing hundreds of people near Damascus on Wednesday after rockets released deadly fumes over rebel-held suburbs, killing men, women and children as they slept.

What would be the world’s most lethal chemical weapons attack since the 1980s prompted an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council set for 1900 GMT. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he was shocked.

But the divisions among major powers that have crippled international efforts to quell two and a half years of civil war were still evident, with Russia hastening to back up denials from the administration of President Bashar al-Assad by saying it looked like a rebel “provocation” to discredit him.

Read more:reuters.com

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