August 16, 2018

Airstrikes pound rebel region of Syria; 55 dead

10 February 2018, 01:42 | Darnell Patrick

Airstrikes pound rebel region of Syria; 55 dead

Medical association to lose Turkish tag over Syria campaign criticism

Eastern Ghouta was designated as one of several "de-escalation zones" by backers of the Syrian government - Russian Federation and Iran - as well as Turkey who oppose the government. In the Idlib province that is now held by rebels, six others were killed by air strikes.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the US airstrike wounded 25 pro-Syrian volunteers.

CNN could not independently verify these claims or videos.

"The threat of using chemical weapons remains, this is a very serious situation".

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad have pummeled rebel-held Eastern Ghouta with relentless shelling and airstrikes this week, in defiance of worldwide human rights laws.

In 2013 the Syrian government agreed to dismantle and dispose its chemical weapons arsenal as part of a United Nations brokered deal to end the use of the weapons in the country.

In Geneva, the UN-mandated "Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic" issued a statement on Tuesday, condemning the "scale and ferocity" of regime attacks in Idlib governorate and eastern Ghouta, including the bombing of three hospitals.

"The parties to this conflict are failing in their obligations under global humanitarian law, including their absolute obligation to refrain from attacks against medical facilities and personnel", Mr. Pinheiro added.

Asked if Russian Federation was responsible for not stopping the attack, Veale said: "The de-confliction effort has served its goal".

But most experts say the Syrian regime appears intent to clear one of the last remaining rebel-held areas.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 70 people were wounded Monday and the number of casualties was likely to climb as rescue operations got underway.

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The heavy death toll underscored the large size of the attack, which the USA official said included about 500 opposing forces, backed by artillery, tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems and mortars.

As the US fits neither, formally speaking, they aren't a side in the Syrian Civil War (though the US Department of Defense acknowledged at the end of previous year that there were in fact thousands of US military personnel in the country) and so their diplomats have not been part of any recent peace talks, except in their capacity as representatives of the UNSC.

"It is mass killing, and we demand the protection of civilians, and we want our voice to reach decision-makers, because this bombing, destruction and killing are systematic", the doctor said.

It was the second attack in a week on Turkish soldiers trying to establish the position, near the front line between rebels and pro-Syrian government forces.

Regime warplanes returned Wednesday morning for fresh strikes on the enclave, with the death toll climbing to 32 civilians including a dozen children, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said the United States supports the UN ceasefire call.

The latest fighting in Syria's seven-year-old civil war has seen an uptick in the alleged use of chemical weapons by the regime, including on the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta.

Damascus has repeatedly said it targets only militants.

However, Russia's United Nations envoy Vassily Nebenzia dismissed the appeal as "unrealistic", the AFP news agency reported.

In agreement with Iran and Russian Federation, the Turkish military is setting up observation posts in parts of Idlib and Aleppo province.

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