Thursday, 20 September, 2018

31 civilians killed in Eastern Ghouta airstrikes

A man carries a child as he flees from reported Syrian air strikes in rebel-held Eastern Ghouta A man carries a child as he flees from reported Syrian air strikes in rebel-held Eastern Ghouta
Ellis Copeland | 08 February, 2018, 13:02

The military said the operation was launched to ensure security and stability along Turkish borders, to neutralize PKK / KCK / PYD-YPG and Daesh terrorists in the Afrin region and to protect the friendly and brotherly people of that area from the oppression of these terrorist groups.

A day earlier, it said, 30 had been killed, and reported more than 40 air strikes on the Ghouta region, the last opposition-controlled area near the Syrian capital.

This congress is called to reinforce the talks, under the auspices of the United Nations, for the search for a peaceful solution to the confrontation of nearly seven years in Syria.

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights within global law, U.N. Security Council resolutions, its right to self-defense under the U.N. charter and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.

Russian Federation proposed a rival press statement eliminating references to Thursday's attack and to "the unacceptable level of violence in Syria, particularly in eastern Ghouta". Sixteen civilians were killed, and schools, hospitals and markets were destroyed, according to activists and civilians in the province.

"I saw yesterday a man lose his child".

"We came all this way to tell our brothers in Afrin they are not alone and that we are with them", said one protester.

"Please break up all gatherings and clear the streets", blared an announcement from mosque minarets in Douma.

State news agency SANA said air defenses confronted the Israeli planes, which it said were flying over Lebanese territory when they fired the missiles.

Idlib and Eastern Ghouta are two of four "de-escalation zones" which had been agreed upon by both sides of the conflict at peace talks in Kazakhstan previous year.

But the bombardment has increased in recent days, including with suspected chlorine-filled munitions. The government denies using chemical weapons.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said a fact-finding mission "is investigating all credible allegations".

A Syrian man searches for people in a fire following regime air strikes on the rebel-held town of Douma
A Syrian man searches for people in a fire following regime air strikes on the rebel-held town of Douma

Around 400,000 civilians live in opposition-held Eastern Ghouta region, where daily bombing, shelling and sieges have crippled life in the Damascus countryside's towns and villages. Jamraya is a known location for military installations and also hosts Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Centre, which is sanctioned by the US.

An Israeli air strike hit the facility in May 2013.

"Our air defence systems blocked them and destroyed majority".

The Syrian government has called the Turkish offensive in Afrin an illegal "aggression" and said it would deal with it accordingly.

The statement did not say whether the incident caused casualties.

The U.N. officials called for "an immediate cessation of hostilities lasting for at least one month throughout Syria to enable the delivery of humanitarian aid and services, evacuation of the critically sick and wounded, and alleviation of people's suffering, to the extent possible, wherever they are".

The UN expressed grave concern Wednesday over the rising number of civilian deaths in Syria amid the country's ongoing civil war.

"Eastern Ghouta is a de-escalation area". "If anything, these have been serious escalation areas". Russian Federation says it is trying to push Mr. Assad to negotiate with his opponents, including with some of the armed factions, although so far he has shown no inclination.

The situation had grown more dire because of the multiple fronts raging at the same time.

Once granted access, three United Nations convoys could be dispatched each week, reaching more than 700,000 people in besieged and hard-to-reach areas in the next two months, according to the United Nations.

NGOs suggest more than half a million people have been killed and half the population uprooted since war broke out in 2011, after regime troops brutally put suppressed anti-government protests sparking an armed revolt.

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