A large number of civilians in the Syrian enclave of Eastern Ghouta were killed and dozens more injured last weekend of airstrikes by the Baathist regime in Syria backed by Russians.
Civilians killed by Syrian regime with Russian backing
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitor of the conflict, also reported the death toll of 17 on Saturday, adding that Syrian and Russian aircraft had targeted several residential areas.
At least 10 medical facilities, including a crucial women and children’s hospital, have also been hit by airstrikes and artillery shelling over a nine-day period in Eastern Ghouta, and the provinces of Idlib and Hama, the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations said, calling the attacks “sickening and unacceptable.”
The UN said that the women and children’s hospital in Idlib, the largest-remaining rebel-held area, had been repeatedly taken out of service.
“For the third time in less than a week, the Maternity and Pediatric Hospital in Ma’arrat An Nu’man… (Idlib) had been damaged and taken out-of-service. Such actions are utterly unacceptable and must stop,” wrote UNOCHA, which coordinates the humanitarian response in Syria, on Twitter Saturday.
Eastern Ghouta, Idlib and Hama have all been designated “de-escalation zones” as part of an agreement brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran aimed to reduce violence in remaining rebel-held territory for at least six months.
Fighting and airstrikes in those areas violate a truce proposed by Russia, which was accepted by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in November.