WARNING: This post contains images of Syrian children in pain and details the effects of a chemical weapon.
Sarin is believed to be the chemical used in a deadly attack on Syrian people on Tuesday that has so far killed at least 70 men, women and children and injured dozens more.
As the world reels amid US intelligence-backed reports the attack was carried out by the Syrian government, we take a look at the deadly chemical.
Sarin is a nerve agent said to be several times more deadly than cyanide. It was first developed as an insecticide by German chemists 1938, but was soon developed into a nerve gas weapon when its effects on humans became apparent.
These effects are horrific.
Sarin interferes with the body’s nervous system – in particular, nerves that usually switch on and off to control muscle movements.
This results in the agony of uncontrollable secretions – people’s eyes water, they drool, vomit and empty their bowel and bladder. Their lungs can secrete fluids to try to repel the gas, causing them to foam at the mouth.
Victims can also experience blurred vision, while their breathing becomes erratic and shallow and their bodies convulse. This inability to breathe kills victims.