SUN 18 - 3 - 2018
Date: Jan 7, 2018
Source: The Daily Star
Air strikes kill 17 civilians in Syria rebel enclave: monitor
Agence France Presse
BEIRUT: Regime and Russian air strikes on a rebel-held enclave near the Syrian capital killed at least 17 civilians on Saturday, a war monitor said.

Eastern Ghouta, one of the last remaining opposition strongholds in the country, is the target of near-daily air raids.

"Syrian and Russian aircraft on Saturday continued their intense bombardment of Eastern Ghouta, targeting several residential areas," the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman, told AFP.

The deadliest strikes hit the Hammuriyeh district, leaving 12 civilians dead including two children, he said.

Two people were killed in the town of Madira and three in Erbin, the Observatory head added, saying 35 people were also wounded in the three areas.

The Britain-based monitor relies on a network of sources inside Syria and says it determines whose planes carry out raids according to type, location, flight patterns and munitions used.

At the start of the week, a coalition of rebels and jihadists including a former Al-Qaeda affiliate surrounded the only regime base in Eastern Ghouta, which lies east of Damascus and has been under a crippling regime siege since 2013.

The blockade has caused serious food and medicine shortages for the enclave's estimated 400,000 inhabitants.

More than 340,000 people have been killed in Syria and millions displaced since the conflict began in March 2011 with anti-government protests.

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