Amnesty International: Assad Regime Using Cluster Bombs in Besieged Eastern Ghouta
Amnesty International on Thursday said that the Assad regime has used internationally banned cluster munitions in attacks on the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta, accusing it of committing war crimes on "an epic scale."
Amnesty said that at least 10 civilians had died because of the Assad regime’s use of the banned Soviet-made cluster munitions. The rights group said that its information was based on interviews with activists, verification of open source videos and photographers.
Intensified bombardment by regime forces and their allies on eastern Ghouta have killed at least 130 civilians and injured hundreds more since 14 November, local activists said.
Meanwhile, the Times newspaper on Thursday said that eastern Gouta has been pummeled by 247 airstrikes and 1,200 artillery shells since mid-November as Assad’s forces and their Iranian and Russian allies try to score a decisive victory in one of the opposition’s longest-surviving bastions.
For the people of the last rebel-held suburb of Damascus, days begin with a desperate hunt for food and end with burials for those slaughtered, the newspaper added.
The Time went on to say that the food crisis is the most severe of the war. Several babies have died recently of starvation and Unicef said the rate of child malnutrition was the worst since the start of the Syrian conflict, almost seven years ago.
The cease-fire, which was announced in the area on Wednesday, was not respected by the regime forces, according to eyewitnesses. The Assad regime has agreed to stop attacks on the rebel-held area ahead of the Geneva talks even although eastern Ghouta was already included in the "de-escalation zones" agreement reached in June.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) on Monday said it had recorded at least 14 massacres and 53 attacks by the Assad regime and its Russian ally on vital civilian centers in eastern Ghouta, including seven medical facilities since 22 July 2017. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Al Jazeera)