In a clear attempt to strengthen the Assad government's denials of responsibility for last Wednesday’s deadly suspected chemical assault, Syrian state television reported Saturday, that soldiers encountered  “chemical agents” in rebel tunnels in the suburb of Jobar and some were overcome by fumes.

It quoted a "news source" as saying. "In some cases, soldiers are suffocating while entering Jobar. Ambulances came to rescue the people suffocating in Jobar." A Syrian army unit was preparing to storm the insurgent-held suburb, the television added.