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Eastern Ghouta Sees 'Deadliest Day' As Battle Rages in Syria

Eastern Ghouta Sees 'Deadliest Day' As Battle Rages in Syria

About 100 people were killed Monday in Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, making it the deadliest day there since the United Nations Security Council passed a nationwide ceasefire resolution on February 24, the Syrian American Medical Society said Tuesday in a statement. "Civilians are caught in a tragic situation", Malik said in a tweet.

The pauses were meant to create "humanitarian corridors" to allow the evacuation of those seeking medical treatment and the entry of aid convoys, but air raids have continued to target civilians and residential areas.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) monitoring group, which uses a network of sources on the ground, said it could not specify the cause of the illnesses.

Nearly 600 people are believed to have been killed and more than 2,000 injured since Syrian government forces launched an air and ground offensive on Eastern Ghouta on February 18, according to the United Nations.

Aksoy said the camps would host a total of 170,000 people.

Regime troops and allied forces have advanced rapidly across farmland in the east of the enclave in recent days, the Observatory said.

The raids came after around 18 people suffered breathing difficulties in the town following a strike there late Monday, the Observatory reported.

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Armed groups there, one of them made up of fighters from Al-Qaeda's ex-affiliate, have been firing mortar rounds and rockets on adjacent neighbourhoods of Damascus, killing around 20 civilians in two weeks.

The UN Human Rights Council on Monday ordered investigators to examine the latest violence and condemned "the indiscriminate use of heavy weapons and aerial bombardments against civilians, and the alleged use of chemical weapons in Eastern Ghouta".

Eastern Ghouta has been under siege for the last five years, and humanitarian access to the area, which is home to some 400,000 people, has been completely cut off.

No Syrian civilians are known to have used the "humanitarian corridor".

Last month, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution calling for a 30-day cease-fire in Syria without delay.

On Sunday, government forces took control of several villages inside Eastern Ghouta, marking a major turning point in the offensive.


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