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Civilians killed after deadly airstrikes hit Eastern Ghouta for first time in over a week Open in fullscreen

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Civilians killed after deadly airstrikes hit Eastern Ghouta for first time in over a week

Eastern Ghouta has been under siege for much of Syria's war [Getty]

Date of publication: 6 April, 2018

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The airstrikes were the first bombing raids on Douma since negotiations began around 10 days ago over a withdrawal of rebels and civilians from the Eastern Ghouta town.
Syrian regime airstrikes killed scores of civilians on Friday in the besieged opposition-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta, a war monitor said.

"Twelve airstrikes hit multiple areas in Douma," said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor based in Britain. At least 27 civilians have been killed. 
 
They were the first bombing raids on Douma since negotiations began around 10 days ago over a withdrawal of rebels and civilians from the town, the largest in Eastern Ghouta.

Backed by Russia, Syrian troops have recaptured 95 percent of Ghouta since February 18 through a combination of a deadly air and ground assault and evacuation deals. More than 1,600 civilians were killed in the Russian and Syrian bombardments.

Moscow had announced a deal with Jaish al-Islam, the Islamist faction that holds the town, but hardliners within the group were reportedly refusing to leave their positions.

Syria and Russia had threatened a resumption of their brutal assault if Jaish al-Islam did not agree to the deal.

Syria's state news agency SANA said Syrian airstrikes hit the town on Friday in response to rebel mortar fire from Douma that wounded seven people near the capital.

Eastern Ghouta has been under siege for much of the war and has been subject to some of the most intense shelling and bombing by the Syrian regime and Russia. 

In 2013, Eastern Ghouta was targeted with sarin gas, killing hundreds of civilians.

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