New strikes kill 10 in rebel-held suburbs of Syrian capital

Thursday, 22 Feb, 2018

It came after more than 100 people were killed on Monday - as Russian forces were blamed for the upsurge in violence by the Observatory.

An estimated 400,000 people are trapped in Eastern Ghouta with little access to food, water, fuel, electricity and health care, according to the UN.

The attacks at the times were coupled with rebels shelling of the capital Damascus, and Syrian airstrikes targeting the rebel positions in Eastern Ghouta. A United Nations spokesperson said at least six hospitals had been deliberately targeted, and that such attacks may amount to war crimes, the BBC reported. Two hospitals suspended operations and one has been put out of service. "We are hiding in the corridor", a Damascus resident said, asking that her name not be mentioned for her own safety.

Mr Guterres told the UN Security Council that "this is a human tragedy that is unfolding in front of our eyes and I don't think we can let things go on in this horrendous way". A wounded child breathing with lungs of sand.

"We received a mother yesterday who was pulled from the rubble".

"All these humanitarian and rights organisations, all that is nonsense. It's called a massacre". At least 310 people have been killed in the district since Sunday night and more than 1,550 injured, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said.

Exact death tolls are hard to obtain as rescue operations continue and because some families bury their dead without taking them to hospital.

Ghouta, a suburb is one of the last rebel-controlled areas of Syria.

Also on Wednesday, Germany has accused Bashar Assad's regime of carrying out a massacre in Eastern Ghouta near Damascus, and called on the regime's backers Russian Federation and Iran to use their influence to stop bombing of civilians.

"We have long feared Eastern Ghouta will see a repeat of the awful scenes observed by the world during the fall of east Aleppo and these fears seem to be well founded", said Mark Schnellbaecher, the regional head of the International Rescue Committee.

"We are also calling on the backers of the Assad regime to use their influence for this objective", he added.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier this week that the assault on Aleppo could serve as a model for the military campaign in eastern Ghouta, which he said was necessary to uproot al-Qaida -linked militants from the area. "This is preliminary bombing", the commander said.

The UN children's agency UNICEF has issued a mostly blank statement to express their outrage at the situation in Syria's Eastern Ghouta. An anaesthetist was killed in the attacks.

The worldwide medical organization Doctors Without Borders said 13 hospitals and clinics that it supports have been damaged or destroyed over the past three days. "It is a humanitarian catastrophe in every sense of the word. We have long feared eastern Ghouta will see a repeat of the bad scenes observed by the world during the fall of east Aleppo and these fears seem to be well founded". He has lost his parents and two children in the bombardment, he said. Like many hospitals in the area, patient facilities have been moved underground to shield them from airstrikes.

On the other hand, the pro-government fighters came under bombardment from Turkey after entering the northern Afrin region, escalating a month-long offensive by Ankara.

Smoke rises from areas targeted by Syrian army shelling in the towns of Arbin and Harasta.