Regime airstrikes pound Eastern Ghouta hours after chemical attack

Regime airstrikes pound Eastern Ghouta hours after chemical attack
More than 70 people have been killed by regime airstrikes on Friday and Saturday, with new strikes beginning Sunday hours after a deadly chemical attack.
2 min read
08 April, 2018
A Syrian boy walks past rubble in Eastern Ghouta [Getty]
Fresh airstrikes on Sunday hit the last rebel-held pocket of Eastern Ghouta, despite a reported ceasefire between the regime and Jaish al-Islam group.

At least 70 civilians were killed on Friday and Saturday by airstrikes, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which have now resumed.

Negotiators in Douma, Eastern Ghouta's largest town, said the ceasefire agreement had been reached on Sunday and hoped it would lead to a resumption of talks.

On Saturday, the Syrian American Medical Association (SAMS) said a chemical attack left 49 people dead in Eastern Ghouta. The Syrian regime denied forces had launched any chemical attacks, saying that rebels in Eastern Ghouta were collapsing and spreading "false news".

Activists circulated one video of about a dozen men, women and children, some of them foaming at the mouth. "Douma city, April 7 ... there is a strong smell here", one voice can be heard saying.

Although the Syrian regime has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons during the now seven-year long war, a September 2017 UN report found that the regime was responsible for using chemical weapons on more than two dozen occasions. 

The Syrian regime has retaken nearly all of the formerly rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta after launching airstrikes, followed by a ground invasion, on 18 February. 

At least 1,600 civilians have died since the regime, with Russian backing, began the assault two months ago.

More than 170,000 of Eastern Ghouta's 400,000 have fled the area as part of two evacuation agreements with the regime.

Jaish al-Islam is the only remaining rebel group in Eastern Ghouta. 

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