DOUMA, Syria – Fresh bombings and airstrikes have struck a besieged rebel enclave on the outskirts of the Syrian capital on Tuesday, killing 19 people and injuring dozens, activists said.
The Syria Civil Defense voluntary search and rescue team, better known as the White Helmets, reported several aerial bombardments and shelling attacks in localities across Eastern Ghouta while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British war monitor, tallied the death toll at 19, including four minors and two women.
The violence came at a time of increased international effort to deliver humanitarian aid to those trapped in Eastern Ghouta, which has been under a government siege for four years and was subject to a recent pro-government ground offensive backed by President Bashar al-Assad’s main international allies, Russia.
An epa photojournalist on the ground on Monday reported a search and rescue operation conducted by the White Helmets that was observed by a monitor from the International Committee of the Red Cross, which was able to enter the zone for a limited time amid a fragile Russian-brokered pause in the conflict that was ostensibly to last five hours daily.
Airstrikes, shelling and clashes between government-allied ground troops and the rebel groups in control of Eastern Ghouta’s front line have continued unabated despite the temporary ceasefire.