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Smoke rises over the Syrian town of Eastern Ghouta following government strikes Smoke rises over the Syrian town of Eastern Ghouta following government strikes  (AFP or licensors)

Syrian forces target rebel-held Eastern Ghouta

Pro-government forces on Tuesday bombarded Syria’s rebel-held Eastern Ghouta, killing nearly 50 civilians.

By Nathan Morley

Air strikes, rocket fire and long-range artillery pounded several areas across Eastern Ghouta, leaving scores of people dead.

The powerful and coordinated barrage targeted the last major opposition pocket near the capital and constitutes the most intense period of bombing seen in years.

Rami Abdul Rahman from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told Vatican News that 194 people have been killed and 900 injured since Sunday.

“We are scared about the future, maybe we have more and more people killed as they are shelling civilians,” he said.

Bombs reportedly struck five hospitals during the bombardment. At least 12 children were killed by shelling on Tuesday morning.

Prior to the conflict, Easten Ghouta was home to about two million people but the seven-year long war has since reduced the population to about 400,000.

An official from the United Nations said the situation was spiralling out of control and called for an immediate ceasefire.

“No words will do justice to the children killed, their mothers, their fathers and their loved ones,” UNICEF said in a statement.

Report by Nathan Morley
20 February 2018, 15:53