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The View From Khan Shaykhun: A Syrian Describes The Attack's Aftermath

"Their faces had turned yellow and they had stopped breathing," a Syrian activist tells NPR. "As I'm describing the incident to you now, my hands are shaking. No, my whole body is shaking."
A survivor of the suspected chemical attack receives treatment at a hospital in Khan Shaykhun on Wednesday. Source: Cem Genco/Anadolu Agency

For Syrian activist Samer al-Hussein, Tuesday morning started much like any other.

"We woke up," he says, "as usual, to the sounds of warplanes that barely ever leave the skies of Idlib province."

He got word from fellow opposition activists that new strikes had targeted a nearby town, Khan Shaykhun. The 28-year-old prepared to leave his wife and sons — a toddler and a newborn — and head to the scene.

As they had many times before, he and other activists planned to document what happened, record the names of the victims and try to get the word out. Six years after they started protesting against President Bashar Assad's rule, this

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