by TRT World
The bombardment of Syria’s opposition-held Eastern Ghouta area near Damascus by pro-regime forces has killed 250 people in the 48 hours since Sunday night, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Tuesday.
The Britain-based war monitor said this was the highest 48-hour death toll since a 2013 chemical attack on the besieged enclave, which killed hundreds.
The Observatory said 106 people had been killed by bombardment on Tuesday.
Strikes put a key hospital out of service on Tuesday, further limiting the little medical aid that besieged civilians could access.
“The Arbin hospital was hit twice today and is now out of service,” said Moussa Naffa, country director in Jordan for the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), which supported the clinic.
The Observatory blamed Russian warplanes, saying Moscow carried out its first strikes in three months on Eastern Ghouta.
The region is ostensibly included in a “de-escalation” deal meant to tamp down violence, but President Bashar al Assad is apparently preparing troops for an imminent ground assault to retake it.
Six hospitals hit
Eastern Ghouta is home to more than 400,000 people living under crippling regime siege, with little access to food or medical resources.
The United Nations said six hospitals had been hit in the region in the past 48 hours, in addition to the one in Arbin.
At least three were out of service and two were only partially functioning, said the UN’s regional humanitarian coordinator for Syria, Panos Moumtzis.
“It’s beyond imagination what is happening in East Ghouta today,” he said.
“The untold suffering is intolerable and residents have no idea whether they will live or die. This nightmare in East Ghouta must end and must end now.