Over 175 civilians killed in Eastern Ghouta, Syria in two weeks of bombings

A Syrian man carries a baby wrapped in a blanket following air strikes on the town

The number of people killed in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta has reached 179 after a little over two weeks of government and Russian bombardment, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

Government forces backed by Russian warplanes began a campaign to take the rebel-held district on December 29, relying mainly on artillery barrages and air attacks, Al-Jazeera reported.

SOHR, which gathers details of casualties from a network of sources inside the country, said on Friday that those killed in the latest escalation in violence include 51 children and 38 women, Al-Jazeera added.

Eastern Ghouta, which has been under siege by pro-government forces since 2013, is home to close to 400,000 people.

The four-year siege has led to a major humanitarian crisis, with severe food and medicine shortages.

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