Syrian airstrikes in eastern Ghouta reportedly kill 27 civilians

Saul Bowman
April 8, 2018

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the bombardment of Douma killed eight people and wounded 48, including 15 children.

The regime has used a combination of fierce bombardment and two negotiated withdrawals to empty out 95 percent of the enclave but rebels are still entrenched in the largest town of Douma.

Regime news agency SANA said air strikes hit the town on Friday in response to deadly rebel mortar fire from Douma.

"The bombing still hasn't stopped".

Firas al-Doumi, a rescue worker inside the battered town, told AFP military planes and helicopters were circling overhead.

At least eight civilians were killed and 20 others injured when a auto bomb exploded near a mosque in Syria's northern Al Bab city, Anadolu Agency reported.

Since 18 February, the government's offensive has killed more than 1,600 civilians and kept residents cowering in basements for weeks.

"There are still a number of people who are besieged and trapped in the area", he told reporters at the United Nations headquarters in New York, "We remind all parties that it is a violation of global law to target civilian infrastructure, to target civilians".

The retaking of Jap Ghouta would mark a critical milestone in President Bashar al-Assad's efforts to regain administration of territory seized by rebel factions all through Syria's seven-year civil wrestle.


Smokes rise after Assad regime and its allies carry out air strikes in eastern Ghouta's Douma town in Damascus, Syria on April 07, 2018.

Leading Jaish al-Islam commander Mohammed Alloush told AFP that the Syrian regime were to blame for the collapse of the talks.

He added that the violence came a day before a new round of negotiations with the Russians during which they were supposed to respond to an offer put forward by the Army of Islam. Another said she had been riding in a taxi when the shelling started, and the vehicle crashed head-on into a wall.

Douma is the last rebel-held area in Eastern Ghouta, after other towns in the sprawling countryside have seen the evacuation of 43,000 rebels and their families toward Idlib Province in northwestern Syria. Jaish al-Islam's political official called for talks to spare civilian bloodshed.

Jaish al-Islam have avoided taking part in the so-called "evacuation deals" and demanded that they be allowed to stay on in Douma as a "police force".

Syrian troops also carried out a ground operation Friday in the orchards surrounding Douma.

It also said there were cases of suffocation among civilians from residential areas after they were targeted by "poison gas "chlorine".

On Saturday, fresh artillery fire hit those fields, said the Observatory.

"The regime is trying to tighten the noose around Douma from the west, east, and south", said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.

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