A ruthless, relentless and bloody offensive against innocent lives is unleashed on the people of Eastern Ghouta in form of catastrophic bombardment by the Syrian regime and artillery fire. The death toll has reached 270 in two days including 60 children, as per the war monitor. As per UN, 6 hospitals have been targeted in the bombing of the Syrian enclave which has rendered three non-functional and has led to several deaths.
The residents who were already suffering due to the shortage of supplies and other equipment due to the blockade imposed by the regime are struck by panic and waiting to die. UN and other humanitarian agencies have called for an immediate ceasefire and lifting of the killer blockade over the last rebel-held area. Nikki Haley, US ambassador to UN has called on the Security Council for an immediate draft resolution for a 30-day ceasefire in the region. Haley also called for aid to be allowed to reach the people of Ghouta. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appealed to all the actors involved for a prompt cessation of bombardment and war acts in the area.
Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, Chief of Human Rights has labelled the air attacks and the artillery fire as “monstrous campaign of annihilation”. UN documentation state that there have been 346 civilian deaths and 878 wounded persons in Eastern Ghouta since the air strikes began from February 4. Human Rights experts have called for an immediate end to the situation as the civilians are being slaughtered in scores baselessly to advance political objectives. The International Committee of the Red Cross has called for all to exercise restraint and passage of aid to the wounded.
Russian military in the area stated that the talks with the rebels broke down as they refused to lay down their arms and even stopped the passage of civilians from the region. It is reported that the airstrikes are a prelude to the ground invasion as the regime has sent military reinforcements to the forward base areas around the suburb. The ground offensive will be far from easy as the government and allies as rebels have robust defence systems and a strong tunnel network underground.
Since the beginning of the Civil war in 2011, an approximate 465,000 people have been killed, 1 million wounded and about 12 million displaced.