Damascus bombing kills more than 100
Government forces bombed the northeastern suburbs of the Syrian capital for a second-straight day Tuesday, killing more than 100 people and raising the specter of a full-scale offensive that could spell catastrophe for the nearly 400,000 residents trapped under siege.
Rescuers raced to reach survivors in the devastated Damascus suburbs known as eastern Ghouta as warplanes and helicopter gunships circled overhead, bombing hospitals, apartment blocks, markets and other civilian targets. The suburbs are the last major stronghold for rebels in the capital region.
At least 250 civilians were killed during the 48 hours of unrelenting onslaught that began Monday, including 58 children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group. Another 1,000 people were wounded, it said.
“We no longer have the words to describe children’s suffering and our outrage,” the U.N. children’s agency said in a terse statement about the carnage.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov appeared to endorse the unrestrained assault, which he said was backed by the Russian air force. “In keeping with the existing agreements, the fight against terrorism cannot be restricted by anything,” he said.
Russia has been an unwavering ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces and was instrumental to the all-out assault in late 2016 that ejected rebels from their enclave in eastern Aleppo, Syria’s largest city before the war – an outcome that Lavrov said could serve as a model for eastern Ghouta.