Syria’s Eastern Ghouta is “catastrophe” after Russian-Syrian bombardment killed dozens

Man holding his baby in the aftermath of Russian-Syrian bombings in Ghouta [Photo: Internet]

A doctor working in the Syrian rebel enclave of the Eastern Ghouta says the situation is “catastrophic” – and he believes the international community has abandoned the people living there, BBC reported.

“We don’t have anything – no food, no medicine, no shelter,” Dr Bassam said, according to the BBC.

Activists say 45 people were killed in fresh government air strikes on Wednesday, bringing the total death toll there since Sunday to nearly 300.

The Red Cross is demanding urgent humanitarian access to the region, BBC added.

The Syrian military says it is trying to liberate the area from terrorists – but it has also been accused of targeting civilians.

The Eastern Ghouta is dominated by the Islamist faction Jaysh al-Islam. But Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a jihadist alliance led by al-Qaeda’s former affiliate in Syria, also has a presence there, the BBC explained.

Pro-government forces, backed by Russia, intensified their efforts to retake the last major rebel stronghold on Sunday night.

“They targeted everything: shops, markets, hospitals, schools, mosques, everything,” Dr Bassam told the BBC on Wednesday.

“Maybe every minute we have 10 or 20 air strikes…I will treat someone – and after a day or two they come again, injured again.”

“Where is the international community, where is (the UN) Security Council… they abandoned us. They leave us to be killed,” he said.

The head of safety and security for the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations (UOSSM), which operates medical facilities in the Eastern Ghouta, told the BBC that 45 people had been killed and another 250 injured on Wednesday alone.

Dr Ahmad Dbis said that since Sunday, ten members of medical staff and volunteers had been killed and 14 medical facilities were taken out of service, with five totally destroyed.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the total death toll since Sunday at 296, the BBC added.

It said that barrel bombs – containers filled with explosives and shrapnel – were used in government strikes on the towns of Jisreen and Kfar Batna on Wednesday.

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