Death toll increases as Assad pounds Ghouta

Death toll increases as Assad pounds Ghouta

Death toll increases as Assad pounds Ghouta

Fresh regime strikes reportedly killed 23 civilians yesterday in a rebel-held enclave near Damascus where overwhelmed medics were still treating the survivors of the Syrian conflict’s bloodiest day in months.

The district of Eastern Ghouta, controlled by jihadist and Islamist rebel factions, suffered some of its worst bloodshed in years on Feb. 6 and the toll continued to mount overnight.

“The civilian toll is now 80. Two wounded people died after midnight,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

“This was the highest civilian toll in Syria in nearly nine months, and one of the bloodiest days for Eastern Ghouta in several years,” the head of the Britain-based monitoring group told AFP.

Nineteen children and 20 women are among the dead, and around 200 were wounded.

There was no respite for Ghouta residents as regime warplanes returned on Wednesday morning and carried out strikes that killed nearly two dozen civilians across several towns.

Ten were killed in Beit Sawa, among them four children. Another eight died in Hammuriyeh and five in Douma, the Observatory said.

Separately, Syrian air defense systems intercepted an Israeli air attack on a military position near the capital Damascus yesterday, the army said. “This morning, Israeli warplanes fired several missiles from Lebanese airspace on one of our military positions in the Damascus countryside,” said an army statement carried by state media.

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