Syrian regime air strikes killed six civilians including two children overnight in Eastern Ghouta after a day of respite from deadly bombardment of the opposition enclave, a monitor said yesterday. Since February 5, Bashar Assad's regime has intensified its bombardment of the besieged region outside Damascus, killing more than 245 civilians including dozens of children.
After the ease up of its strikes on Eastern Ghouta for one day, the regime raids picked up again on Saturday night, killing six civilians and wounding more than 50 others, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said, as reported by AFP. Five of those, including two children, were killed in the region's main town of Douma, Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights on Saturday called for international action to stop one of the bloodiest period of the Syrian conflict. The Syrian people are suffering "though one of the most violent periods in nearly seven years of conflict," said the U.N. statement, according to Anadolu Agency.
Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said in a statement: ''The past week has been one of the bloodiest periods of the entire conflict, with wave after wave of deadly air strikes leading to civilian casualties in areas of Eastern Ghouta and Idlib." "Over 1,000 civilian casualties from airstrikes were reported in the first week of February alone."
The statement added some 350,000 people are trapped in Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, where 210 civilians have been killed including more than 50 children and 42 women from Feb. 5-8.
At least nine medical facilities, six of them in Idlib and three in Eastern Ghouta, were hit by recent air strikes, he said. He added that death and destruction in Idlib, Eastern Ghouta and Damascus constitute war crimes.
About allegations that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons in Idlib, Hussein said the U.N. had received reports, including a video footage suggesting toxic agents may have been used during strikes on a residential area in eastern Saraqab city on Feb. 4.
Syria has been locked in a devastating civil war since March 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity. While U.N. officials say hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, Syrian regime officials say the death toll is closer to 10,000.
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