Syria's Ghouta residents 'wait to die' amid heavy bombing

15:21 • 21.02.18



Residents of Syria’s eastern Ghouta district said they were waiting their “turn to die” on Wednesday, after rockets and barrel bombs fell on the besieged rebel enclave targeted for days by some of the most intense bombardment of the war.


At least 10 people died in one village and more than 200 were injured early on Wednesday. At least 274 people have been killed in the district in the last three days, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said.


Another 13 bodies, including five children, were recovered from the rubble of houses destroyed on Tuesday in the villages of Arbin and Saqba, Reuters reports, citing the Observatory.


The eastern Ghouta, a densely populated agricultural district on the outskirts of Damascus, is the last major area near the capital still under rebel control.


The district, home to 400,000 people, has been besieged by government forces for years.


A massive escalation in air strikes since Sunday has become one of the most intense of the Syrian civil war, now entering its eighth year. The United Nations has denounced the bombardment, which has struck hospitals and other civilian infrastructure, saying such attacks could be war crimes.


The pace of the strikes appeared to slacken overnight, but its intensity resumed later on Wednesday morning, the Observatory said. Pro-government forces fired hundreds of rockets and dropped barrel bombs from helicopters on the district’s towns and villages.


“We are waiting our turn to die. This is the only thing I can say,” said Bilal Abu Salah, 22, whose wife is five months pregnant with their first child in the biggest eastern Ghouta town Douma.


They fear the terror of the bombardment will bring her into labor early, he said.

 


 

 





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