22 dead in fresh regime air strikes on Syria enclave: Monitor

2018-02-08 18:23
Men are seen pulling a survivor from the rubble after airstrikes hit a rebel-held suburb near Damascus, Syria. (Syrian Civil Defence White Helmets via AP)

Men are seen pulling a survivor from the rubble after airstrikes hit a rebel-held suburb near Damascus, Syria. (Syrian Civil Defence White Helmets via AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Jisreen – A fourth consecutive day of heavy regime bombing raids on the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta near Damascus killed 22 civilians on Thursday, a monitor said.

The civilian toll was first reported at nine on Thursday morning but almost immediately began to rise, mirroring previous bloody days in the besieged district.

Wednesday's strikes hit at least six different locations in Eastern Ghouta, said the head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman.

The highest toll was in the town of Jisreen, where eight civilians were killed.

An AFP correspondent there said the strikes hit near a school, a market and a mosque.

Vegetable stalls in the market were overturned and damaged, and a motionless body lay outside the mosque.

Rescue teams rushed to the district and pulled three children and a woman out of the rubble.

Moayad al-Hafi, a rescue worker, said his team was hit in a double-tap strike as they were pulling bodies out in Jisreen.

"As we were pulling out the children and the dead from under the rubble, they targeted us with five rockets – directly targeting us," said Hafi, 24.

Screaming for an ambulance

Another two children and a woman were killed in the town of Saqba, where streets were littered with human remains and destroyed cars.

A man carrying his young daughter screamed for an ambulance to take her to the nearest makeshift clinic.

Eastern Ghouta, which lies just east of the capital Damascus, is controlled by rebel factions including Islamists.

An estimated 400 000 people live under a suffocating government-imposed siege, which has made food and medicine nearly impossible to access.

Syrian government warplanes have ratcheted up their bombardment of Eastern Ghouta this week, leaving dozens dead and hundreds in need of medical care.

Regime bombing raids left 38 civilians dead on Wednesday, the Observatory said in a new toll.

It came on the heels of the bloodiest day in months for Eastern Ghouta on Tuesday, when 80 civilians were killed in strikes.

In apparent retaliation, one person was killed in rebel mortar fire on the regime-controlled part of the town of Harasta, according to state news agency SANA.

Eastern Ghouta is the last major rebel stronghold on the capital's doorstep.

Most of the other rebel-controlled territory surrounding Damascus has been recaptured by government forces either through military operations or local truce agreements.

Eastern Ghouta is ostensibly included in a "de-escalation" deal that is meant to tamp down violence in a handful of areas across the country, but the bloodshed has escalated dramatically this week.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    syria

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.