March 17, 2018

Eastern Ghouta assault: Civilian death toll tops 1000 in 20-day bombardment

11 March 2018, 12:51 | Rufus Hill

Eastern Ghouta assault: Civilian death toll tops 1000 in 20-day bombardment

Syrian forces attacking eastern Ghouta 'have surrounded rebels in Douma'

Jaish al-Islam and Faylaq al-Rahman, two Islamist rebel groups, control most of the opposition-held areas of eastern Ghouta.

During the February attack pro-regime forces using tanks and artillery fired on a Syrian Democratic Forces headquarters where U.S. Special Operations Forces were present.

Jaish al-Islam, one of the main rebel groups in Eastern Ghouta, announced it had agreed to the evacuation of several Hay'et Tahrir al-Sham fighters - previously part of al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front - who were detained by the group in Eastern Ghouta.

Syria's state-run television later broadcast footage it said showed 13 militants and their families leaving the besieged enclave in suburban Damascus.

"Shelling in proximity of Douma, east Ghouta today, is putting the UN/ICRC/SARC convoy at risk, despite assurances of safety from parties including the Russian Federation", the UN humanitarian coordinator in Syria , Ali al-Zaatari, said.

The capture of Mesraba and advances into nearby farmland brought important roads directly under fire by the army, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Eastern Ghouta's 400,000 inhabitants have lived under government siege since 2013 and the enclave - more than half of which has over the past three weeks been retaken by regime forces - is home to a myriad of armed groups.

On Friday a United Nations convoy was able to successfully deliver aid to the area, after previous deliveries were halted by shelling.

State media have reported people in eastern Ghouta raising Syrian government flags and holding small protests in support of Assad.

A second attempt was later made to deliver the aid that agencies had failed to offload, but this was cancelled at the last minute due to security concerns.

That has in effect cut the large towns of Harasta and Douma off from each other and the rest of the enclave, it added.

A negotiator from Hammuriyeh said a "civilian delegation" wanted to hold talks with the government to end the fighting in the area.

"We came because of the intensity of the bombing", said Abu Mohammed, a 32-year-old famer who had left his cows, sheep and farm equipment to join thousands of others fleeing to Douma, further into the rebel enclave.

On Monday, a convoy of 46 trucks delivered some provisions to Douma but was forced to turn back. It said the lull was result of local negotiations brokered by unnamed Damascus businessmen with the government to try and reach a solution that would secure the exit of fighters and civilians from eastern Ghouta. They said at least five people were killed in Friday's bombardment of the town of Jisreen.

More than a week ago, the United Nations said those already numbered more than 700. Some say I want to stay, some say I want to go, but both options have become unsafe.

Other News

Trending Now

Super Mario Invades Google Maps on Mario's Day
Mario with his Kart will hold a position in Google Maps' arrow, which is used to show the location where the user is heading. PacMan game for April Fool's Day 2017 and, in 2015, figures from " Star Wars: The Force Awakens" appeared in Google Maps .

Top NBA Prospect Michael Porter Jr. Plans To Play In SEC Tournament
Martin alerted the media of Porter's return Tuesday, with the news eventually broken via SEC Network's Paul Finebaum . Porter underwent on his back shortly thereafter, and was expected to miss the remainder of the season.

North Korea in focus as biggest Paralympics opens
There was no notable reaction for the North Korean entrance from the crowd, who were polite but subdued for most of the evening. The Google doodle March 9, 2018, celebrated the start of the Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang , South Korea.

Syria regime ramps up brutal bombardment of Ghouta
During that pause, Moscow said, it would guarantee safe passage to civilians and rebels wishing to flee the enclave. AFP correspondents in Eastern Ghouta heard warplanes overhead carrying all out strikes on the battleground towns.

Duke, UNC battle for spot in ACC tournament final
Duke: The Blue Devils had six turnovers on their first 14 possessions and just one field goal in the first 10 minutes of the game. Meanwhile, Duke destroyed any hope Notre Dame had of winning this year's tournament with an 18-point blowout on Thursday.

England will be gunning for Grand Slam revenge - Sexton
A lot has changed in the last 20 years or so, but probably nothing more than Ireland's physicality. What could fall in Ireland's favour, is Scotland's poor away form.

How year-round daylight saving time would affect SWFL beach business
Daylight saving time was put into affect in the 1918 during World War I as well, using it in an effort to preserve coal. Manitobans will be putting their clocks ahead one hour this weekend with daylight saving time set to begin in the province.

Frozen Eggs, Embryos No Longer Viable After Hospital Mishap?
On Friday, the fertility center had informed about 700 patients that their eggs and embryos may have been destroyed. The tanks are attached with alarms, which will go off if the temperature drops below a certain level.

Aggies fall to Alabama at the buzzer, 71-70
Not a great look for an Auburn team that has already made history but would like to make a lot more starting next week. The Alabama Crimson Tide are allowing 31.4 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 33.7 rebounds per game.

Joachim Low Rumoured to Be Arsenal's Leading Candidate to Replace Arsene Wenger
The Welsh midfielder managed to get on the end of Ozil's pass before Ramsey's quick feet bamboozled highly-rated Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma .