Syria Air Strikes ‘Kill 500’ In A Week
Syrian government forces have killed more than 500 civilians during a week of intense bombardment of a rebel enclave near Damascus, activists say.
The victims in the Eastern Ghouta include 121 children, says the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based group monitoring the conflict.
Syrian government forces backed by Russia have been pounding the area since last Sunday.
The UN Security Council is struggling to agree on a ceasefire resolution.
A vote has been delayed several times since Thursday, and was due to meet on Saturday.
How bad is the situation in the Eastern Ghouta?
On Saturday, the Syrian Observatory said at least 29 civilians were killed, including 17 in the main town, Douma – bringing the total to over 500 for the week.
The group said the strikes were being carried out by both Syrian and Russian planes – although Russia denies direct involvement.
Barrel bombs and shell fire have been dropped on the area, where some 393,000 people remain trapped.
Aid groups report several hospitals being put out of action since Sunday.
The Syrian government has denied targeting civilians and said it is trying to liberate the Eastern Ghouta from “terrorists” – a term it has used to describe both the jihadist militants and the mainstream rebel groups that hold the enclave.
The plight of civilians in the area has alarmed world leaders. Conditions there have been described as “hell on earth” by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.