Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Atleast 136 people killed in Syria's Eastern Ghouta

An oft-neglected Russian connection How De-Escalation Zones in Syria Became a War Management Strategy
Ellis Copeland | 09 February, 2018, 05:00

Residents of the besieged Syrian enclave of eastern Ghouta have endured a further day of relentless bombardment by the government of Bashar al-Assad, a campaign that has so far killed more than 200 people and left a ceasefire deal that lasted months in tatters.

The US, which backs the Syrian opposition, backed the call on Thursday, saying it was "appalled" by the escalating violence and multiple reports of Syrian government forces dropping bombs filled with chlorine on rebel-held areas.

The rebel-controlled Eastern Ghouta has been under siege by the Syrian government forces for over four years.

More than 130 people have been killed since the Syrian regime intensified its bombardment on the besieged Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of the capital Damascus, on February 5, rescuers and monitoring groups have said.

Residents and activists have described the damage and human suffering on the ground.

The panel also expressed "deep concern" over the escalation of violence in rebel-held Idlib province and in Eastern Ghouta, Pinheiro said.

While UN officials say hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, regime officials say the death toll is closer to 10,000. War crimes experts with the United Nations are investigating the chlorine attacks and a group of 25 countries has established a partnership meant to hold those responsible for chemical strikes to task.

Eastern Ghouta was one of several so-called de-escalation zones agreed past year by three of the main outside players in the conflict - Turkey, Iran and Russian Federation.

The UN mission warned in a statement on Tuesday of "dire consequences" to the humanitarian crises in the country, and identified seven areas requiring urgent humanitarian relief. The ongoing fighting and deliberate obstructions by forces were preventing aid organizations from reaching civilians, it said.

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Syria's multisided war has drawn in armies and insurgents from around the world, aggravating a conflict that began in 2011 as an uprising against Assad.

Eastern Ghouta is the last major rebel stronghold on the capital's doorstep. Bombings killed an additional 80 people on Tuesday, according to the latest Civil Defense statistics. It said one of its workers was killed by an airstrike while attempting a rescue in the area.

The conflict in Syria is many-sided, with complex battle lines between multiple rebel factions, Islamist groups, government-backed troops and USA and Russian forces.

Since Dec. 25, 223 civilians have been killed, including 65 children.

Turkey began deploying forces in an observer role to the rebel-held Idlib in October as part of a "de-escalation" agreement with Iran and Russian Federation to stabilize the lines of conflict in the war-torn country.

Contrary to US intelligence, the Syrian government paints the facility as a civilian research institution.

Tel Aviv warplanes has repeatedly launched missiles from Lebanese airspace against Syrian research facilities and centers, violent actions that were condemned and rejected by the Executive of this Arab country.

"The Russian pilot ejected from the plane and was shot dead by militants, according to Russia's Defense Ministry". Mr Le Drian's also criticised Turkey for waging a separate offensive against Kurdish fighters in Afrin in north Syria.

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