Two days after walking out of the Geneva political talks, the Assad regime has resumed deadly attacks on the besieged East Ghouta area near Damascus.
Carrying out almost 30 strikes in 24 hours, regime warplanes hit crowded residential areas on Sunday, killing at least 27 people, residents, rescuers, and aid workers and a war monitor said.
At least 17 were killed in the town of Hamouriya in a strike on a marketplace and nearby residential area. Four others Erbin, and there were casualties in Misraba and Harasta.
Almost 200 civilians have died since the regime, at times supported by Russia, broke the Moscow-brokered de-escalation zone and stepped up bombing, shelling, and rocketing three weeks ago.
Meanwhile, 390,000 people in the area are at risk of malnutrition, starvation, and death from medical conditions because of the tightening siege. The UN has warned of “complete catastrophe” with people dying from siege-related illnesses and 1,500 children at immediate risk of malnutrition.
Having closed tunnels in March and the last checkpoint for supplies in July, the regime has denied almost requests for aid deliveries.
On Friday, the Assad regime’s delegation ended its brief involvement in the UN-brokered political talks in Geneva, insisting that the future of Bashar al-Assad must not be discussed. The head of the group, UN Ambassador Bashar al-Ja’afari, said, “For us (this) round is over, as a government delegation.”
UN envoy Staffan de Mistura had said that he expected the discussions — on a new constitution, governance, elections, and “fighting terrorism” — to continue until December 15.