Airstrikes kill at least 17 civilians in Syria's Eastern Ghouta

Airstrikes kill at least 17 civilians in Syria's Eastern Ghouta
Syrian regime forces and Russian airstrikes on rebel-held Eastern Ghouta killed at least 17 civilians on Saturday.
2 min read
06 January, 2018
The deadliest strikes hit the Hammuriyeh district [Anadolu]
Regime and Russian airstrikes on a rebel-held enclave near the Syrian capital killed at least 17 civilians on Saturday, a war monitor said.

Eastern Ghouta, one of the last remaining opposition strongholds in the country, is the target of near-daily air raids.

"Syrian and Russian aircraft on Saturday continued their intense bombardment of Eastern Ghouta, targeting several residential areas," the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman, told AFP.

The deadliest strikes hit the Hammuriyeh district, leaving 12 civilians dead including two children, he said.

Two people were killed in the town of Madira and three in Erbin, the Observatory head added, saying 35 people were also wounded in the three areas.

At the start of the week, a coalition of rebels and jihadists including a former al-Qaeda affiliate surrounded the only regime base in Eastern Ghouta, which lies east of Damascus and has been under a crippling regime siege since 2013.

The blockade caused serious food and medicine shortages for the enclave's estimated 400,000 inhabitants.

On Friday, overnight airstrikes intensified on the Idlib province, were casualties were reported in Kafr Nubl, Marrat Shurin and Khan al-Sabil.

At least one child was killed in the attacks, the Syrian Observatory said.

The latest fighting there comes as regime troops backed up by Russian airpower battle rebels and jihadists on the edge of northwestern Idlib province, the only one still fully beyond government control.

The government push near Idlib - also a "de-escalation zone" - follows two months of sporadic fighting that the United Nations says has displaced more than 60,000 people.

More than 340,000 people have been killed in Syria and millions displaced since the conflict began in March 2011 with anti-government protests.

Agencies contributed to this report.