CAIRO – At least 29 people were killed on Saturday, including five children, and another 12 wounded in fresh attacks on Eastern Ghouta, a rebel-held suburb of the Syrian capital Damascus where more than 500 civilians have died in the last week from the intensified bombardment by forces loyal to Syria’s government.
Air strikes and artillery shelling throughout Saturday morning killed 12 people in the city of Douma and another four in the town of al-Shifonia, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a United Kingdom-based war monitor.
The SOHR did not clarify whether Syrian and Russian forces were responsible for the recent attacks.
Overnight, the intense attacks continued in Arbin and Harasta, as well as Saqba and Hamouriyah, where the SOHR stated private properties were burned due to the use of incendiary bombs.
Saturday’s causalities brought the total death toll since Feb. 18 in Eastern Ghouta to 505 civilians, including 123 children and 65 women, the Observatory said.
The attacks had also wounded 2,453 people, of which hundreds were in critical condition, while dozens remained missing under the rubble.
The constant airstrikes and shelling also greatly weakened the area’s medical infrastructure, and the few field hospitals still functioning were running low on supplies.
On Wednesday, the relief organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF) released a statement detailing the targeting of medical facilities, saying “13 hospitals and clinics that are regularly or ad-hoc supported by MSF (were) hit and damaged or destroyed over just three days.”
“The siege around East Ghouta is preventing medics from obtaining essential life-saving supplies,” MSF added.