Syrian Monitor Reports 45 Deaths in New Strikes

20 February, 2018, 20:19 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • A Syrian opposition fighter from Failaq al Rahman brigade carrying a sniper rifle walks down a street full of damaged and partially destroyed buildings on the frontline in the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta near Damascus

Civilians inside Eastern Ghouta have described a "state of terror" as scores of civilians continue to be killed in the rebel enclave.

Eastern Ghouta is the last main rebel stronghold near the Syrian capital and the jump in violence there has drawn global concern.

Abdel Rahman said military reinforcements started arriving when the regime intensified its air strikes on Eastern Ghouta on February 5. The rescue service, which operates in rebel territory, said strikes killed 20 people and wounded dozens in the town of Hammouriyeh alone on Monday.

More than 260 rockets, heavy artillery fire and airstrikes targeted several parts of the suburb on Sunday, killing at least 14 civilians, including four children, AFP said, citing the SOHR.

Almost 400,000 people live in Eastern Ghouta.

The Syrian Civil Defense, also known as White Helmets, said the shelling and airstrikes killed 98 and that some people are still under the rubble.

Panos Moumtzis, the UN's Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, said he was alarmed by the escalation of hostilities - confirming that more than 40 civilians had been killed and 150 injured on Monday.

If a deal is struck for Eastern Ghouta, jihadists would likely be sent to the northwestern province of Idlib, which nearly completely escapes government control.

Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag warned Syria of "disastrous consequences" should Syria send government forces to reinforce the Kurdish YPG in their fight against the Turks in northern Syria, reports CNN.

The UN urged civilian bombing in the eastern Ghouta of the Syrian Aviation insurgency to be immediately suspended, the France press reported.

Eastern Ghouta is meant to be one of the so-called "de-escalation zones" agreed to in a deal struck by Russia, Turkey and Iran previous year.

The United Nations said last week Syria was seeing some of the worst fighting of the war, which is entering its eighth year.

Eastern Ghouta is in one of these areas, where violence is meant to be contained, but the de-escalation agreement does not include a former al Qaeda affiliate which has a small presence there. They say they have used the presence of a few hundred fighters from al Qaeda's former Syria branch as a pretext to attack the enclave.


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