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Published: Tue, February 20, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Dozens killed in land, air attacks on Syrian enclave

Dozens killed in land, air attacks on Syrian enclave

The main opposition National Coalition, which is based in Turkey, denounced the "war of extermination" in Eastern Ghouta as well as the "international silence".

An estimated 350,000-400,000 people live in Eastern Ghouta, including 1,000 in urgent need of medical treatment.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and humanitarian aid chief Christos Stylianides said getting aid to eastern Ghouta is urgently needed to prevent more deaths.

More than 300 civilians have been injured in air raids and artillery firing, the BBC reported, quoting human rights monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Although the regime claims to target areas belonging to "terrorists", images taken by Anadolu Agency in Haresta, Eastern Ghouta show the bombardments targeting civilians.

In a statement, it also accused Syria's ally Russian Federation of seeking to "bury the political process" for a solution to the conflict.

Turkey dismissed the accusations as "baseless", but a spokesman for the Kurdish YPG militia in Afrin told Reuters that six people suffered breathing problems after Turkish bombardment hit a village in the northwest of Afrin, near the Turkish border.

But government forces ramped up military pressure on Eastern Ghouta starting Sunday, sending more than 260 rockets sailing onto opposition-controlled towns there.

Hundreds are wounded. Government forces have strengthened their positions around the besieged area, which may indicate that a ground offensive is being prepared.

Due to soaring food prices, impoverished families have been subsisting on one meal a day since the army tightened its siege last November.

Since anti-government and fundamentalist fighters occupying Damascus suburbs have reached such agreements and been transported to Idlib, the government's objective is to exert military pressure on Eastern Ghouta's holdouts to follow their example.

The U.N. children's agency, UNICEF, issued a one-page statement of protest against the killings and carried a headline, saying: "Do those inflicting the suffering still have words to justify their barbaric acts?"

On Tuesday the United Nations children's agency UNICEF issued a blank statement condemning what it described as the "war on children in Syria". "Not even a proper aid convoy is being allowed to enter Ghouta, and the global community is just watching".

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