International News

    Syrian regime bombs eastern Ghouta despite humanitarian truce

    Despite an UN Security Council-approved ceasefire in Syria, the regime has reportedly carried out fresh airstrikes in eastern Ghouta. More than 500 civilians have been killed in government raids in the past week.
    The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Sunday the regime of President Bashar al-Assad carried out new airstrikes on eastern Ghouta’s rebel-held suburbs despite the United Nations Security Council’s resolution on a 30-day humanitarian truce across the war-torn country.
    Assad’s ally Iran said Sunday the attacks would continue on Damascus suburbs held by “terrorists.”
    There were also reports Sunday of clashes between regime forces and Jaish al-Islam jihadists in the south of eastern Ghouta, according to Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Syrian Observatory.
    Rahman, however, admitted the situation was more peaceful in eastern Ghouta than before the imposition of the ceasefire.
    “Eastern Ghouta has seen its quietest night in a week,” Rahman said, adding the calm was short-lived as the Assad regime started bombarding parts of the enclave Sunday morning.
    “The violence is limited compared to the escalation seen over the past week,” Rahman told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur news agency.
    A total of 127 children are among the 513 dead in the bombing campaign that the regime launched last Sunday on the enclave just outside Damascus, the Observatory said, claiming the airstrikes were being carried out by Syrian and Russian forces.
    Control of eastern Ghouta is shared between two main Islamist factions, while Syria’s former al-Qaida affiliate is also present.
    Besieged enclave
    Russia has been pressing for a negotiated withdrawal of rebel fighters and their families like the one that saw the government retake full control of Aleppo in December 2016. However, rebel groups in eastern Ghouta have so far refused.
    The enclave is completely surrounded by government-controlled territory and its 400,000 residents are unwilling or unable to flee the siege.

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