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Over 1,000 civilian deaths in E. Ghouta: Watchdog

Local | 2018-02-25 17:28:00
Over 1,000 civilian deaths in E. Ghouta: Watchdog
   Assad regime continues attacks despite UN ceasefire in Syria
More than 1,000 civilians, including children and women, have been killed since mid-November in attacks by the Syrian regime and its allies including Russia in besieged Eastern Ghouta, according to a U.K-based human rights watchdog.

Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said in a statement on Sunday that from Nov. 14, 2017 to Saturday, 1,121 people, including 281 children and 171 women, had lost their lives amid the "barbaric offensive" against the Damascus suburb.

During this time, 18 attacks have been carried out on medical facilities, 32 attacks on local markets, and 11 attacks on schools, according to the statement, which also noted three chemical attacks, four cluster munition attacks, and 124 barrel bombs dropped in the region since mid-November.

"For seven years, Eastern Ghouta has been the target of purposeful, continued marginalization efforts that targeted the people’s social, economic, and mental structure there, as the Syrian regime and its allies have carried out various patterns of violations that qualify as crimes against humanity and war crimes, such as extrajudicial killing, sexual violence, enforced-disappearance, torture, siege, indiscriminate bombardment, as well as deliberate in some cases, targeting of protected objects, forced displacement, and the use of chemical weapons, as well as barrel bombs and other kinds of crimes.

"All of this has been going on in light of the existence of the United Nations, the Security Council, the law of war, the United Nations Commission of Human Rights, and the International Criminal Court," it said.

Home to some 400,000 residents, Eastern Ghouta falls within a network of de-escalation zones -- endorsed by Turkey, Russia and Iran -- in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

Eastern Ghouta has remained under a crippling regime siege for the last five years, which has brought the district to the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe.

On Saturday, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution demanding a 30-day cease-fire to allow for humanitarian aid deliveries.

Syria has been locked in a devastating conflict since early 2011 when the regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

According to UN officials, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict to date.

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