In Syria, at least 100 killed in attacks as more people flee

March 17, 2018 | By | Reply More

Airstrikes in Syria killed more than 100 people on Friday as civilians, weary and many wounded, fled besieged areas for the second straight day.

In Syria, at least 100 killed in attacks as more people fleeSyrian government forces stepped up their offensive in the rebel-held eastern suburbs of the capital, Damascus, capturing a major town and closing in on another under the cover of Russia’s air power.

The majority of the deaths occurred in eastern Ghouta, where government forces have been on a crushing offensive for three weeks, capturing 70 percent of the besieged area. The weekslong violence has left more than 1,300 civilians dead, 5,000 wounded and forced thousands to flee to government-controlled areas.

Friday’s staggering death toll came a day after Syria passed the seven-year mark in its relentless civil war that has killed some 450,000 people and displaced half the country’s population.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said bombing and shelling by government and Russian forces killed a total of 76 people in eastern Ghouta, including 64 killed in Kafr Batna and another 12 in Saqba. Government forces also captured the nearby town of Jisreen, it said.

The Observatory said another 36 people were killed in the Kurdish-held town of Afrin in northern Syria, where Turkish troops and Turkey-backed Syrian opposition fighters have been on the offensive since Jan. 20. The dead included nine killed in airstrikes that hit the town’s general hospital.

Friday’s government attack on Kafr Batna was with cluster bombs, napalm-like incendiary weapons, and conventional explosives, the Observatory said.

Photos and videos released from the area showed charred bodies covered with sheets lined up near what appeared to be shops.

A medical charity supporting hospitals in eastern Ghouta, the Syrian American Medical Society, said doctors in Kafr Batna were treating patients for severe burn wounds.

Oways al-Shami, a spokesman for the Syrian Civil Defense, said the airstrikes targeted a market and a nearby residential area where scores of people had gathered to buy bread and vegetables during a daily truce called by Russia.

“The medical situation is catastrophic. We can’t stay in this situation for long,” said Dr. Zouhair Kahaleh in the nearby town of Arbeen. Roads were closed, he said, and “we can’t treat some of the cases here. It’s a major challenge to reach the wounded because of the intensity of the airstrikes.”

Exhausted and shell-shocked civilians streamed out of the rebel enclave Friday, a day after tens of thousands evacuated the area in the biggest single-day exodus of the war.

Syria’s U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari told the U.N. Security Council that more than 40,000 civilians left eastern Ghouta on Thursday through a new security corridor opened by the government in the recently retaken town of Hamouria. An additional 30,000 people fled the Turkish military offensive on Afrin, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Press journalist for HRO media – Khizer Hayat reports.

Tags: , ,

Category: Arab uprising

Leave a Reply