Smoke rises after strikes on rebel-held Deraa city, Syria February 13, 2017. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Faqir
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A human rights group accused the Syrian government Monday of conducting at least eight chemical attacks using chlorine gas on opposition-controlled residential areas during the final months of the battle for Aleppo.Human Rights Watch said in a report released Monday that it used witness interviews and video footage to document government helicopters carrying out the attacks in rebel-held eastern Aleppo that killed at least nine civilians, including four children, and injured around 200 people.The Syrian government has previously denied any chemical attacks.Human Rights Watch said the attacks were carried out between Nov. 17 and Dec. 13 – two days before President Bashar Assad's forces took control of eastern Aleppo in a humiliating defeat for opposition fighters trying to oust the Syrian leader.The Syrian government said earlier Monday it was ready to agree on prisoner swaps with rebel groups, a potential confidence-building measure as the United Nations prepares to convene new peace talks.Monday, authorities in the central Syrian city of Hama unveiled a statue of late President Hafez Assad to replace the one pulled down by demonstrators nearly six years ago, in the early days of the uprising against his son's rule.
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