Chaos in 2 towns as Turkish as Syrian forces close in

Lester Mason
March 15, 2018

Civilians who've fled the besieged district of Ghouta, east of Damascus say the rebels there have been forcing people to remain.

In Dweir, Sheikh's was one of 17 families - 76 people - to have arrived at the reception centre from Misraba since Saturday after the army retook the area.

"Those operating on the ground in eastern Ghouta and led by the Al-Nusra Front do not want to meet their obligations", he added. He said some residents were being turned away without any.

At least 1,162 civilians have been killed, including 241 children in the almost month-long offensive, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which on Sunday put the death toll for the seven year conflict at 511,000. Turkey has bombed several bakeries since launching its offensive on January 20, according to the Observatory.

He said "the United States plans to accuse the Syrian government troops of using chemical weapons, and to provide the world community with the so-called evidence of the alleged mass death of civilians at the hands of the Syrian government" and "Russia supporting it".

Turkey considers the Syrian Kurdish militia group to be "terrorists" while the USA has relied on the group in the fight against the Islamic State group.

A Facebook page of the Nubl and Zahraa villages posted photographs of the eight killed fighters, who were from the villages.

Building on those claims, the United States and its allies, especially France and Britain, have been pointing the finger of blame at the Syrian government.

Sealing off Afrin city would be major for Turkey's "Olive Branch" operation, launched on January 20 and aimed at ousting the YPG, a vital partner for a US-backed coalition against the Islamic State group, but seen by Ankara as "terrorists". "Violence continues in eastern Ghouta and beyond - including in Afrin, parts of Idlib and into Damascus and its suburbs".

A doctor in the town of Hamouria, inside the besieged zone, said his hospital was overwhelmed with casualties and that for four hours ambulances could not move the wounded for care.

Almost 1,000 children were killed and at least 961 children were recruited and used in the conflict in Syria past year, the UN Children Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday. Recent statements made by United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations Nikki Haley on a possible strike against Syria raises indignation and extreme concern, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. Douma is eastern Ghouta's largest settlement. The bombing Wednesday focused on the south.

On Monday, the United Nations said more than 1,000 people, mostly women and children, were in urgent need of medical evacuations from Eastern Ghouta.

The UN Security Council passed a resolution last month calling for a 30-day truce to allow for aid deliveries and medical evacuations, but the ceasefire demand went unheeded.

SAMS, the medical charity, said the incendiary bombs have been repeatedly used in Arbeen over the past week.

A military source at the checkpoint confirmed "an evacuation today of wounded and grave medical cases along with a number of civilians".

Syrian jets also struck rebel-held towns in the country's south, the first aerial attacks on the area since the United States and Russian Federation brokered a deal making it a "de-escalation zone" past year, rebels and residents said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article