Over 150 Syrian civilians dead after 2-day barrage of attacks

Injured children are treated at a hospital in rebel-held Douma, Eastern Ghouta, Syria, on Monday. More than 150 people have been killed in heavy bombing by forces allegedly loyal to the Syrian government. Photo by Mohammed Barda/EPA-EFE

Feb. 20 (UPI) — Some Syrians feared more violence Tuesday after government forces bombarded East Ghouta over a two-day period, killing more than 150 civilians.

On Tuesday morning alone, 45 civilians — including 12 children — were killed by air strikes, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Since Sunday, more than 100 civilians have died and over 300 people have been injured.

Barrel bombs, a crude weapon made from oil canisters, are allegedly being used for the first time, in addition to the oil strikes and shellings. These type of bombs were also used in the battle for East Aleppo in late 2016.

“From yesterday until this very moment, we’ve witnessed all kinds of shelling in our neighborhood,” a mother of two children told Al Jazeera from Eastern Ghouta. “Warplanes have not stopped soaring over the city. When the shelling temporarily stops, they start firing missiles at us.”

The air raids in the Damascus suburb had been relentless for over 24 hours, leading field doctor Khalid Abulabed to call the situation “crazy and catastrophic,” reminding him of the shelling that used to be seen in Aleppo.

Eastern Ghouta has been under siege by Syrian President Bashar Al Assad‘s forces since 2013, as the last remaining rebel-held area east of Damascus. The blockade has barred humanitarian aid delivering food and medical supplies. The United Nations has continuously called for a cease-fire.


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