By Samuel Burke & Claire Calzonetti, CNN
Syrian-American doctors are obtaining samples from apparent victims of chemical weapon attacks in Syria and giving them to the American government for testing.
On Monday, Syrian-American doctor Zaher Sahloul was near the Syrian border in Turkey, where he told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that reports from physicians indicate there had just been another attack. Sahloul believes this is the sixth recent chemical weapons attack Syria.
“We have medical proof,” Dr. Sahloul told Amanpour. “Patients had respiratory and neurological symptoms.”
Physicians working inside Syria are collecting samples and giving them to Dr. Sahloul ‘s organization, The Syrian American Medical Society.
That group brings the samples to Turkey, and then hands them over to the American Embassy, according to Sahloul.
Physicians in Syria have reported that patients are experiencing shortness of breath, respiratory failures, convulsions and going into comas.
While some patients have died after the apparent chemical weapons attacks, Sahloul said other have escaped death after taking an antidote for nerve gas.
“They don’t have evidence to prove it was sarin gas,” Sahloul said, but he said all of the symptoms are consistent with some type of nerve gas.
The samples the physicians are bringing to the American Embassy in Turkey are of hair, urine, blood and clothing, according to Sahloul.
Last week, after the Pentagon announced it had growing evidence the Syrian regime may have used chemical weapons, Sahloul said his group received a call from the U.S. State Department thanking them for the delivery of the samples.
Syrian hospitals are now erecting decontamination tents outside of hospitals, to shower the victims of the apparent chemical weapon attacks before bringing them in the hospital. Sahloul said they plan to set up these tents in front of ten hospitals in the areas of Aleppo that are outside the control of the Syrian regime.