ISTANBUL, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian opposition accused President Bashar al-Assad's forces of killing 1,193 people in chemical weapon attacks in suburbs of Damascus on Wednesday.
The announcement was made by Badr Jamous, Secretary-General of the Syrian National Coalition, and George Sabra, President of the Syrian National Council, at a press conference in Istanbul.
The Syrian opposition leaders said that the death toll was increasing the since rescue operation was still going on in the Damascus suburb of Gouta.
Activists had earlier reported some 500 were killed as a result of toxic gas inhalation and exposure to chemical weapons.
Presenting some pictures of those killed in the chemical attacks, the Syrian opposition leaders called on the UN Security Council to convene an urgent meeting on the incident.
However, the Syrian army denied using chemical weapons in rebel- held areas in Damascus' eastern countryside, saying such accusations were part of a "dirty" media war against Syria.
In a statement by the General Command, the army said "biased channels of misdirection of bloodshed have, as they always do, made false allegations that the Syrian army used chemical weapons in Damascus countryside."
The statement said that the allegations were a desperate attempt to cover up the defeat the rebels are suffering on the ground, adding that these allegations reflected "their hysteria, disorder and breakdown."
The opposition's accusation came amid a UN mission here to investigate possible use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict. The probe was requested by the Syrian government, who accused the Western-backed rebels of using sarin agent in the northern town of Khan al-Asal.
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Syrian army denies using chemical weapons in Damascus countryside
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