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Syria’s Eastern Ghouta suffers 250 Civilian Deaths

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By: Tamara Qiblawi and Sarah Sirgany – cnn.com – February 21, 2018

At least 250 civilians have been killed in two days of relentless bombardment of Eastern Ghouta in Syria, activists say, prompting warnings that the regime of Bashar al-Assad is preparing to crush the rebel-held enclave.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 106 died on Tuesday, the highest in a single day since a 2013 alleged chemical attack on eastern Ghouta, which activists say killed approximately 1,400 people.
The intensified bombardment of Eastern Ghouta, an area outside Damascus that has been besieged by the regime of Bashar al-Assad for years, drew international condemnation. Amnesty International said “flagrant war crimes” were being committed on an “epic scale” there, and the UN children’s agency UNICEF published a blank statement, saying in a footnote there were “no words” to describe the suffering of children.
“For six years, the international community has stood by as the Syrian government has committed crimes against humanity and war crimes with total impunity,” said Amnesty International’s Syria researcher, Diana Semaan.
“People have not only been suffering a cruel siege for the past six years, they are now trapped in a daily barrage of attacks that are deliberately killing and maiming them, and that constitute flagrant war crimes.”

The Syrian Observatory said the death toll included 58 children and 42 women. More than 1,200 people were wounded by constant shelling of the besieged area outside Damascus. The assault continued into Wednesday.
“These are the worst days of our lives in Ghouta,” Eastern Ghouta hospital director and pediatrician Amani Ballour said.
“We in Ghouta have been getting hit by airstrikes for more than five years and this is not new to us … but we have never seen anything like this escalation.”
Doctors said medics were working around the clock treating hundreds of injured people. Several medical facilities in Eastern Ghouta were reported to have been struck on Monday.
Medical supplies were already in short supply due to a yearslong siege of the area that began in 2012. Now, Syrian regime forces are accelerating their offensive against the suburb, one of the last rebel-controlled areas in the country.

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Source: Syria’s Eastern Ghouta suffers 250 civilian deaths, rights group says