29 killed in fresh attacks on Syria's Eastern Ghouta

International |  IANS  | Published : Sat, Feb 24, 2018, 09:33 PM

Damascus  :  At least 29 people, including five children, were killed on Saturday in fresh attacks on Eastern Ghouta, a rebel-held suburb of the Syrian capital, where over 500 civilians have died in the last week in intensified bombardment by forces loyal to the Syrian government.

Air strikes and artillery shelling throughout the morning killed 12 people in the city of Douma and another four in the town of al-Shifonia, according to UK-based war monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The SOHR did not clarify whether Syrian and Russian forces were responsible for the recent attacks. At least 12 people were wounded in Saturday strikes.

Overnight, the intense attacks continued in Arbin and Harasta, as well as in Saqba and Hamouriyah, where the SOHR stated private properties were burned due to the use of incendiary bombs.

Saturday's casualties brought the total death toll since February 18 in Eastern Ghouta to 505 civilians, including 123 children and 65 women, the Observatory was cited as saying by Efe news.

The attacks had also wounded 2,453 people, of which hundreds were in critical condition, while dozens remained missing under the rubble.

The constant airstrikes and shelling also greatly weakened the area's medical infrastructure and the few field hospitals still functioning were running low on supplies.

Meanwhile, Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) announced a huge financial aid to support the humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta. 

According to a report by Qatar News Agency, Qatar Red Crescent Society was cooperating with local partners to secure medical supplies, in addition to distribute 34,500 food meals over 17 days in the distressed area. 

UN envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura pleaded for a truce to halt one of the fiercest air assaults of the seven-year civil war and prevent a "massacre" in the besieged Eastern Ghouta. 

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar called on the Syrian government earlier this week to halt the bombings. 

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