Syrian Airstrikes Kill Dozens of Civilians, Many Children, in Damascus Suburb

Russian airstrikes kill 4 civilians in Syria's Idlib

Russian airstrikes kill 4 civilians in Syria's Idlib

Russian and Syrian government forces launched a new wave of airstrikes on Tuesday, killing at least 45 civilians in a besieged area just outside of Syria's capital, Damascus, according to activists and a war monitoring group.

Syrian rescue workers and activists say the death toll from ongoing government strikes on the opposition-held region near the capital Damascus has risen to at least 35.

It was the second day of an intensified attack on the region.

Israel has in the past admitted to attacking arms shipments allegedly bound for Lebanon's Hezbollah group, which is fighting alongside Syrian president Bashar Al Assad's forces.

The International Committee of the Red Cross in Syria expressed distress at the deteriorating security and humanitarian conditions in the area.

The al-Qaida-linked Levant Liberation Committee, which is the dominant militant group in Idlib, said its fighters shot down the Russian jet near the town of Saraqeb in Idlib province and killed its pilot after he ejected from the plane.

Meanwhile, Turkish operations against Syrian Kurdish forces and USA and Russian-backed operations against the Islamic State group have compounded the suffering of Syrians in the country's north and east.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley told the council there was "obvious evidence from dozens of victims" to corroborate the chlorine attacks in rebel-held Eastern Ghouta.

"These attacks must end now", spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

Tuesday's toll of 80 dead was "the highest civilian toll in Syria in almost nine months, and one of the bloodiest days for Eastern Ghouta in several years", Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP. It said the dead includes a medic and at least three children and eight women. "I saw many families all gone because of the Assad regime and Russian Federation", said Nour Adam, a 21-year-old media activist living in Ghouta.

"The remaining medical facilities are suffering a lack of basic medical supplies". It said one of its workers was killed by an airstrike while attempting a rescue in the area.

With the continued shelling across Eastern Ghouta, Omran Aldoumani, an 18-year-old photographer, hid along with his family in their home in Douma. "When we came here, it was the first time we saw them". Damascus denied the White House's charges, and The Associated Press could not independently verify the reports of a chlorine gas attack.

Syria's multi-sided war has drawn in armies and insurgents from around the world, aggravating a conflict which began as an uprising against Assad's rule.

A United Nations investigative commission said in 2016 that the Syrian government was behind at least three chlorine gas attacks during the seven-year civil war, but activists and monitoring groups contend there have been more.

"Additionally, Syrian pro-regime forces manoeuvred T-55 and T-72 main battle tanks with supporting mortar fire in what appears to be a co-ordinated attack on Syrian Democratic Forces approximately eight kilometres (five miles) east of the Euphrates River de-confliction line in Khusham, Syria", Col Veale said.

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