Assault on E. Ghouta kills more than 400 in five days, rights group says

World Today

SYRIA-CONFLICT-DAMASCUS-EASTERN-GHOUTAHala, 9, receives treatment at a makeshift hospital following Syrian government bombardments on rebel-held town of Saqba, in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus on February 22, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / AMER ALMOHIBANY)

The head of the United Nations is describing the situation in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta as “hell on earth.”

Rights groups said hundreds of people, many of them children, have been killed by air and artillery strikes since Sunday. They added that the Syrian government is turning the Damascus suburb to rubble, trying to recapture this last rebel stronghold.

CGTN’s Alaa Ebrahim has more.
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The sounds of fighter jets, artillery and mortars continued near Damascus for a fifth straight day. The Syrian army, reportedly backed by Russian planes, continued their campaign to take Eastern Ghouta from rebels.

The human cost of the operation has been staggering. A number of hospitals are reportedly among the targets struck, and according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, more than 400 people – including many civilians – have been killed.

More than 2,100 have been wounded during the assault led by Syria’s military, though the Syrian government said those numbers are exaggerated.

Rebels, meanwhile, have continued their shelling of Damascus, firing mortars and rockets on the capital.

Despite mounting pressure on Damascus to halt the offensive, sources close to the government tell CGTN it is unlikely.

Many in Ghouta have no food, water or electricity. U.N. officials are urging a 30-day ceasefire to avert what some are calling a “massacre.”