The Syrian Civil Defense Corps said that at least 216 civilians, including 53 children, have been killed in bombardment by the Assad regime on the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta since 29 December.
In a statement published on social media on Tuesday, the Civil Defense said that eastern Ghouta has been subjected to heavy aerial and artillery bombardment by Assad forces and their allies for the past 27 days.
Meanwhile, French UN Ambassador Francois Delattre has warned that eastern Ghouta “might be the new Aleppo in terms of humanitarian disaster,” saying that the Assad regime bears full responsibility for the deteriorating situation in the Damascus suburb.
Speaking at an emergency UN Security Council session called by France to discuss the humanitarian situation in Syria on Monday, Delattre said: “The number one party responsible for the humanitarian tragedy in Syria is the Syrian regime. The number one tragedy happening before our eyes happens in Eastern Ghouta and Idlib.”
As many as 1,337 civilians were killed and 9,123 more were wounded in besieged eastern Ghouta district in attacks by regime forces in 2017, the Syrian Civil Defense Corps said in early January. The rescue group said that the victims included 12 of its staff members.
The Civil Defense urged civic, legal local and international institutions to intervene to protect civilians in eastern Ghouta and to exert pressure on active players to stop military attacks on civilians, ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to the area, and ensure that medical evacuations are carried out.
Some 400,000 civilians currently trapped in eastern Ghouta live in tragic conditions as a result of the crippling siege and relentless bombardment by Assad forces which has been ongoing for years.
In early January, Amnesty International said that the Assad regime had used Soviet-made internationally banned cluster munitions in attacks on populated areas in eastern Ghouta, accusing it of committing war crimes on “an epic scale.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)