Bombs Rain on Eastern Ghouta, Death Toll Above 200

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Eastern Ghouta resident'Missiles are dropping like rain

The United Nations warned on Tuesday that the humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta is "spiraling out of control" and that lack of access to the besieged enclave has kept aid away, leading to severe food shortages and a sharp rise in food prices.

The bodies of people, including children, killed in Syrian army bombardment on the town of Hamouria in the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta, are seen lying on the ground at a make-shift morgue the morning after the attacks, February 20, 2018.

Numerous violations may amount to war crimes, he said.

Moumtzis said he was "appalled" by reports of the attacks against hospitals in East Ghouta that took lives and left many injured.

Such tactics appear to flout worldwide law but Russia, Syria's ally, has vetoed 11 U.N. Security Council resolutions criticising its handling of the war.

The rebel-held Eastern Ghouta in the countryside of Syrian capital Damascus has witnessed intense airstrikes and shelling as military showdown is approaching.

Russian Federation has been providing air support for the Syrian army since Moscow intervened to help President Bashar al-Assad side in 2015.

In recent months, however, the government has followed the playbook it has used to crush opposition in other Syrian cities by tightening the siege, leaving civilians struggling with dwindling supplies and turning on each other and the rebel fighters.

"There are terrorists there who the Syrian army is fighting and the terrorists are shelling Damascus", Nebenzia said.

Reuters photos showed bandaged people waiting at a medical point in the town of Douma, some of them with blood streaming down their faces and their skin caked in dust.

Tarakji says he knows families who want to leave but won't, too anxious that government forces who control the checkpoints around eastern Ghouta will consider them rebels and kill them.

In the meantime, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had on Monday blamed "armed provocations" by Takfiri al-Nusra Front militants for conditions in Eastern Ghouta.

The United Nations has been pleading with the Syrian government for months to arrange the evacuation of hundreds of seriously ill patients among the population of nearly 400,000. "This nightmare in East Ghouta must end and must end now".

The ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent accessed Eastern Ghouta in December to facilitate the evacuation of 29 wounded patients.

Ghouta, a suburb is one of the last rebel-controlled areas of Syria.

"The Arbin hospital was hit twice today and is now out of service", said Mousa Naffa, country director in Jordan for the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), which supported the clinic.


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