Syria: Death toll crosses over 200 in pro govt bombing

A person inspects damaged building in the besieged town of Douma Eastern Ghouta Damascus Syria

The International Committee of the Red Cross is calling for restraint in Syria and access to the wounded after the deadly escalation in fighting in and around Damascus in recent days.

President Bashar al-Assad's troops launched a withering rocket and barrel-bomb blitz aimed at smashing remaining rebel pockets in eastern Ghouta.

"There are attempts from some global and local sides for a truce process in eastern Ghouta and they have not succeeded so far", said Mohammad Alloush, the political chief of Jaish al-Islam, one of the main rebel factions in eastern Ghouta.

"The estimated arrival time for the plane to reach the most-bombed parts of eastern Ghouta - Harasta - two minutes from now", a typical alert sent at 4.41 pm by the Syrian Civil Defence air strike warning system.

The Syrian civil war has already claimed over half a million lives and even with United Nations intervention, the conflict shows no signs of abating.

A Syrian regime air campaign has killed nearly 300 civilians in three days in the eastern suburbs of Damascus, intensifying President Bashar Al Assad's efforts to reclaim one of the country's last rebel-held enclaves.

Medics have been overwhelmed throughout February.

"The Arbin hospital was hit twice today and is now out of service", said Moussa Naffa, country director in Jordan for the Syrian American Medical Society, which supported the clinic.

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Syrian state TV reported that rebels, in return, fired dozens of mortar rounds and rockets at Damascus, wounding eight people. The Syrian Civil Defense, volunteer first responders known as the White Helmets, said 30 people were killed in eastern Ghouta.

"These are groundless accusations".

But the situation is not easy, as around 350,000 civilians are still living in Eastern Ghouta, which is a large countryside constituting of several towns and villages under the rebel control.

"We received a mother yesterday who was pulled from the rubble. And for us, that would make them legitimate targets", said Mr Erdogan's spokesman.

The locally-run Ghouta Media Center reported strikes on Kafr Batna and other towns in the rebel-held eastern Ghouta region outside Damascus.

The UN children's agency UNICEF has issued a mostly blank statement to express their outrage at the situation in Syria's Eastern Ghouta. The UN says more than 300,000 people have been displaced by the fighting there since December.

US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert criticized the "siege and starve tactics" of the Assad regime and said,"The cessation of violence must begin now". It is home to 400,000 people and has been besieged by government forces for years. However, a rebel group formerly affiliated with al Qaeda is not included in the truce and has a small presence there. Three of SAMS' medical staff in Eastern Ghouta were killed during those two days. The weapons are so inaccurate that their use is seen as a war crime by human rights watchdogs.

It is one of the most intense bombardments of the war by pro-government forces on the besieged, rebel-held enclave near Damascus.

Rebel groups responded with a wave of artillery bombardment targeting Damascus, killing 12 people and wounding 50 in government-controlled areas, according to the Observatory.

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