Reports say Syria used chemical weapons in attack on Wednesday

The Syrian government used chemical weapons on rebel forces near Damascus on Wednesday, according to multiple media reports.

The reports say that President Bashar Assad’s forces used rockets fixed with “poisonous gas heads” in attacks that killed hundreds of people.

The claims could not be independently verified by the media outlets, and the Syrian government denied the charges, saying it was an attempt to influence an ongoing United Nations investigation into whether Assad had previously ordered chemical weapons be used against his own people.

The White House has not responded to a request for comment.

In June, the White House said it determined that Assad’s forces had used chemical weapons on rebel groups, provoking the Obama administration to provide military support to the opposition groups.

Tens of thousands have died and millions have been displaced in the two-year-old conflict in Syria. The United States has provided more than $1 billion in humanitarian aid to the country since the crisis began.