Women and children among latest casualties of ongoing assault near Damascus


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Airstrikes and shelling on East Ghouta near Syria’s capital Damascus killed at least 17 more people on Saturday, as the Assad regime and its allies continue to defy a “de-escalation zone”.

The largest toll yesterday was in Hamouriyah, where 12 perished, including four children and two women. Another three were killed in Erbin and two in Medyara.

White Helmets civil defense said at least 40 people were injured in Hamouriyah alone, some critically.

Pro-Assad forces have tried for months to overrun remaining opposition areas in East Ghouta, killing and wounded hundreds of civilians. The assault has continued despite the supposed “de-escalation zone” agreed this summer between Russia and rebels.

The regime has also tightened the siege imposed since 2013, putting almost 400,000 residents at risks of malnutrition and death from medical conditions. The UN has spoken of “complete catastrophe”, with 12% of children in East Ghouta suffering from malnutrition and others unable to get treatment.

Despite the attacks, the Assad regime and foreign militias have been unble to make a breakthrough. Instead, rebels counter-attacked the Military Vehicle Organization base, a key site from where rockets and shells are launched. The opposition factions have surrounded the complex and even moved inside it, killing almost 50 troops and militia in a single day, with four regime generals among the fatalities.

Russia and the regime responded to the attacks on the base, near Harasta, with even more airstrikes and shelling.


Jordan: We’ll Allow One-Off Aid Delivery to Displaced Near Border

Jordanian authorities say they will permit a one-time crane drop of UN aid to about 50,000 displaced Syrians stranded in harsh conditions inside Syria on the border.

Jordan sealed the frontier in June 2016, after Islamic State attacks killed seven Jordanian border guards.

The Syrians in the Rukban area of desert have since been trapped, with the Jordanians limiting food and water. It has said that assistance is now the responsibility of the Assad regime, which has been refusing permission for humanitarian operations in territory which it does not control.

Jordan’s Foreign Ministry said Sunday that it will permit the crane drop after the UN submitted a plan for aid delivery.


SNHR: 112 Medical Staff and Civil Defense Volunteers Killed in 2017

The Syrian Human Rights Network reports the killing of 112 medical staff, civil defense personnel, and members of the Red Crescent organization in 2017.

The SNHR detailed 243 attacks on medical and civil defense centers, with the vast majority of casualties caused by pro-Assad forces. It said the Assad regime and allies carried out 209 attacks, with the US-led international coalition carrying out 7 and other parties and unknown attackers responsible for 27.

Hundreds of medical and civil defense personnel have been slain by pro-Assad forces, notably through Russian and regime bombing, since 2015.

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