As many as 194 people were killed and 759 others injured in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta, including many women and children, as a result of aerial and artillery bombardment by the Assad regime and Russian forces over the past ten days, the Free Directorate of Health in Damascus and its Countryside said.
In statement on Wednesday, the Syrian Interim Government-run Directorate said that the victims included 38 children and 22 women, while 140 women and 122 children were wounded. The bombardment also caused massive damage to civilian property and infrastructure, the statement added.
“The bombardment on eastern Ghouta did not stop for a single day. All weapons are being used, including chemical weapons, on which UN Security Council resolutions were passed but remains mere ink on paper as these crimes have gone unpunished,” the statement said.
The Directorate made it clear that all claims by the Assad regime and its allies of targeting military targets amongst civilian areas are “a false pretext to justify the targeting of vital civilian facilities such as hospitals, schools, and popular markets.”
The Directorate denounced the statements being issued by the regime and its allies, calling on international organizations and human rights groups to intervene urgently to stop the military escalation in eastern Ghouta. It stressed it stood ready to receive international observers to examine the medical centers themselves and check up on the deteriorating medical situation in the area.
The local council in the town of Saqba in eastern Ghouta held the international community responsible for the relentless killings, shelling, destruction and siege of eastern Ghouta. It called upon the international community to take urgent action to protect innocent civilians from the ongoing onslaught by regime forces and their allies.
The UN human rights chief on Wednesday said that the Assad regime forces and their allies had killed at least 85 civilians since Dec. 31 in stepped-up attacks against the besieged opposition enclave of Eastern Ghouta.
Conditions in the enclave amount to a humanitarian catastrophe, Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein said. “Residential areas are being hit day and night by strikes from the ground and from the air, forcing civilians to hide in basements,” he said in a statement.
Assad regime forces have been besieging eastern Ghouta since 2013, allowing only tiny, sporadic deliveries of aid and basic necessities. Few months ago regime forces further tightened the siege. Many civilians, mostly children, died due to malnutrition and lack of food. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)