Damascus toll at 70 after Syria strikes

February 07, 2018

A rebel stronghold is being pounded by Syrian warplanes (file) as the UN demands a ceasefire.

The death toll in the Syrian government's intensive airstrikes on rebel-held areas near the capital Damascus has risen to 70, a monitoring group says.

"Civilians and children being massacred and the world is still silent," Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said. Half of the victims were women and children, he added.

Videos posted by activists on facebook showed children covered with blood screaming from pain as they were rushed to hospitals in various areas in Eastern Ghouta.

"We lost some seriously injured people because we are running out of medical supplies and equipment to carry out the needed surgeries," Dr Muhammad Kharboutli, who is in charge of one of the hospitals, told dpa.

He added that the victims were women and children and that the targeted areas were residential areas and not headquarters of armed groups.

Kharboutli added that they have sent urgent messages to the UN and humanitarian organisations to intervene and stop the "barbaric bombardment."

The Observatory said it was the highest number of deaths registered in one day since the escalation started 45 days ago. In total, more than 335 people have been killed.

This week's strikes, which began on Monday, hit at least 10 areas in Eastern Ghouta, including Haza, Harasata, Douma, Hammouriyeh and Beit Sawa.

The United Nations has called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

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