Targeting of civilians in Syria's Eastern Ghouta 'must stop': UN

Heavy Syrian bombardment in Eastern Ghouta targets civilians, says United Nations

Afp February 20, 2018

BEIRUT: Heavy Syrian bombardment of the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta is targeting civilians and must stop immediately, the United Nations warned on Monday.

"It's imperative to end this senseless human suffering now. Such targeting of innocent civilians and infrastructure must stop now," Panos Moumtzis, the UN's Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis said in a statement.

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Several days of bombardment on Eastern Ghouta, near Damascus, has killed hundreds of people, with one monitor of Syria's seven-year conflict saying that at least 77 people had died there on Monday alone.

Held by rebels since 2012, Eastern Ghouta is the last opposition pocket around Damascus and President Bashar al-Assad has dispatched reinforcements there in an apparent concerted effort to retake it.

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Moumtzis, whose organisation has repeatedly called for a cessation of fighting in Eastern Ghouta to allow in desperately needed food and medical aid, said the humanitarian situation in the rebel enclave was "spiralling out of control".

"The recent escalation of violence compounds an already precarious humanitarian situation for the 393,000 residents of East Ghouta, many of them internally displaced," he said.


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