Extensive damage from airstrikes and shelling by the Assad regime, Iran-backed militia and Russian troops in opposition-held eastern Ghouta suburb near Damascus and its largest town Douma captured in aerial footagehttps://t.co/3nZidjeBrn pic.twitter.com/l5E2lcv0r7— DAILY SABAH (@DailySabah) March 1, 2018
The extensive damage and little evidence of civilian presence after weeks of intensive Assad regime and Russian airstrikes in the once-sprawling eastern Ghouta suburb of Syria's Damascus was captured on drone footage Thursday.
The official Anadolu Agency released the video showing the enclave and its largest town Douma, dubbed as the "rubble city," which are still home to more than 400,000 people, at least half of whom are children.
Heavily-damaged residential buildings, pockmarked roads and charred vehicles are the everyday landscape for the few Ghouta residents who leave their homes.
The footage even captures smoke rising from a faraway neighborhood after a recent airstrike.
The civilians in 104 kilometer-wide Ghouta enclave, under siege by the regime forces for the last six years, have been dealing with hunger and lack of supplies, which has worsened as the regime tightened its blockade since April.
Since late February, Assad regime, Russia and Iran-backed militia have intensified their attacks on the enclave, killing over 600 civilians as of Wednesday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Eastern Ghouta falls within a network of de-escalation zones endorsed by Turkey, Russia and Iran, in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited. On Saturday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution demanding a 30-day cease-fire to allow for humanitarian aid deliveries. The resolution, prepared by Sweden and Kuwait, also calls for the medical evacuation of 700 people, particularly in eastern Ghouta.
Syria has been locked in a devastating civil war since early 2011 when the regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity. According to U.N. officials, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict.