According to the latest update from Doctors Without Borders/ Medecins Sans Frontieres, three hospitals in Syria's Damascus governorate that are supplied by Doctors Without Borders reported that they received approximately 3,600 patients displaying neurotoxic symptoms such as convulsions, excess saliva, pinpoint pupils, blurred vision and respiratory distress, in less than three hours on Wednesday.
The US, the UK and France are reported to be weighing up options on what to do about the recent chemical attack on civilians in Syria. It looks increasingly likely that US and possibly UK missiles will be launched at military installations of the Assad regime - an option not so seriously considered up to this point.
A one-off barrage of strikes launched from the Mediterranean is unlikely to alter this calculus. It is hard to imagine what could be successfully struck in one barrage of attacks that would serve to either significantly punish the regime for its action or to deter it from deploying the weapons again in the future.
According to Syrian opposition sources, more than 1,300 Syrian citizens have been killed in a chemical weapons attack near Damascus on Wednesday 21 August. The Syrian National Coalition claims toxic gas was used by President Bashar al Assad's forces during a bombardment of rebel-held areas outside the Syrian capital.
The feasibility of intervention was greater two years ago. I know that there is little public appetite for it in the west but inaction has empowered the radical jihadists. This has made it harder to achieve either a political settlement or a pluralist Syria which would protect the rights of minorities such as the Kurds, the Christians and the Alawites.