Syrian regime rockets and bombs hit Damascus school

Syrian regime rockets and bombs hit Damascus school
At least 80 civilians including 40 children were killed during the latest bombardment of rebel-held Douma, a besieged suburb of the capital Damascus
3 min read
13 December, 2015
The Syrian Arab Crescent searches for survivors after an airstrike [Getty]
Regime rockets and bombs rained down on a Syrian rebel stronghold east of Damascus hitting a school and killing 80 civilians including 40 children.

Douma council announced that ten buildings were destroyed, as well as three mosques and two schools in a barrage of bombing and rocket fire.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said rockets fired by regime forces hit Douma, one of largest towns in the opposition-held Eastern Ghouta region.

Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said air raids also hit Douma and the nearby towns of Saqba and Harasta, but it was unclear whether they were carried out by Syrian or Russian warplanes.

At least 28 civilians were killed in the bombing of Douma and Saqba, and another three civilians were left dead after the air strikes in Harasta.

Two children were among the dead, and dozens of people were wounded, he said.

"One of the air strikes on Douma hit near a school, killing the school's principal," Abdel Rahman told AFP.

Men carried children across the dust-covered rubble of destroyed buildings in Douma.

Streets were littered with debris and shards of glass, according to an AFP photographer on the scene.

A local activist group in Douma shared photographs on Facebook of crumbling buildings and bloodied children lying in a makeshift clinic.

In one jarring photo, children's shoes, notebooks, and bags are strewn across the blood-stained floor of what the group said was a schoolyard in Douma.

Regime forces regularly bombard Eastern Ghouta with rebels returning fire with rockets and mortar shells hitting government-held districts of the capital.

Sources inside East Ghouta estimated a higher death toll, telling al-Araby al-Jadeed that "Ghouta experienced a series of airstrikes in the morning that affected many areas including Sakba and Marj al-Sultan, causing the deaths of around 60 people and nearly 200 wounded, including women and children".

On Sunday, a young child was killed and three people were wounded in rebel mortar fire on Damascus, according to Syrian state news agency.

Two more people were killed, and dozens wounded, in mortar fire on a Damascus suburb controlled by government forces, the agency also reported.

Last month, regime forces and rebel groups tried to agree on a 15-day ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta, but the talks failed and violence has resumed.

Air raids in the area are at times conducted by Russian warplanes, which began carrying out an air war in Syria in September.

Suspected Russian bombing of Douma in November killed 23 Syrian civilians.