Bombing Of Damascus Suburbs Kills Hundreds

Sunday, 25 Feb, 2018

The dead included more than 120 children.

The Syrian Observatory on Human Rights, a United Kingdom monitoring group, said the rainfall kept the government aircraft from heaven on East Ghoutan Thursday morning, but they turned around midday as soon as weather was upgraded.

Russian UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzya had said there was "no agreement" and presented amendments to the draft resolution "for it to be realistic", while the Syrian ambassador to the UN, Basher al-Jaafari, accused the worldwide body and mainstream media of backing "terrorists recruited by the U.S. from all over the world" to fight in Syria. They have said their main aim is to stop rebel shelling of the capital, and have accused insurgents in Ghouta of holding residents as human shields.

A surge of air strikes and shelling by the Syrian government and its allies has pounded eastern Ghouta since Sunday night, in one of the fiercest air-assaults of the seven-year war, residents, rescuers and the monitor say.

"France and Germany call for an immediate cessation of hostilities and the implementation of a ceasefire to provide civilian support, humanitarian access and medical evacuation, as called for by the United Nations", the two governments said.

It calls for all parties to immediately lift the sieges of populated areas including eastern Ghouta, Yarmouk, Foua and Kefraya.

On Friday, the U.N. Security Council debated a resolution a 30-day halt in bombing to allow for aid deliveries and medical evacuations.

The civil defence rescue service, known as the White Helmets, said it had documented at least 350 deaths in the first four days of the attacks. "We weren't able to count the martyrs yesterday because the warplanes are touring the skies".

More than 520 people have been killed and 2,500 wounded since Sunday in the relentless bombardment of Eastern Ghouta, according to a statement from Doctors Without Borders, or Médecins Sans Frontières.

The 24-hour delay followed a flurry of last-minute negotiations on the text drafted by Sweden and Kuwait after Russian Federation, a veto-holding ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, proposed new amendments on Friday.

REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh TEMPLATE OUT People carry the body of Majid Santiha on a stretcher in the besieged eastern Ghouta town of Hamouriyeh near Damascus, Syria, February 21, 2018.

Military forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad were reported to have launched scores of rockets, as well as a series of airstrikes, on the outskirts of Damascus overnight into Saturday morning. "We can not allow this situation to continue".

Rebels have been firing back into the capital Damascus, where a hospital was hit, the official Syrian news agency SANA said.

The truce does not cover militants from Islamic State, al-Qaeda, and the Nusra Front.