Fresh air strikes pound Douma after heavy bombing kills 32 civilians

Marsha Scott
April 8, 2018

The channel said troops carried out a ground offensive under the cover of airstrikes moving deep into the so-called Douma Farms after a 10-day truce collapsed Friday afternoon.

Syrian state TV said the rebel group called "Jaish al-Islam" had shelled a residential area and a crossing in eastern Ghouta, and then the air force attacked.

Damascus and Moscow enabled civilians to leave Eastern Ghouta, while paving the way for transfer of militants and their families to a northern militant bastion.

The ministry has informed that about 7 people being killed and over 42 injured by Jaysh Al-Islam militants during the shelling of Damascus with 25 mortar shells and bombardment missiles.

Although a number of rebel strongholds remain, none are as strategically important as Eastern Ghouta, where Douma is located.More than 130,000 people have fled the once-besieged enclave in recent weeks, according to the United Nations, a lot of them to government-run reception centers in Damascus.

Syrian government forces deploy in the captured town of Beit Sawa it the Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of Damascus on March 14, 2018.

Another eight civilians were killed on Saturday as more bombing raids slammed into the town, the Britain-based Observatory said.

There have been reports that the Army of Islam wants to negotiate a new deal, complaining of mistreatment by Turkish troops in northern Syria.

Mohammad Alloush, the Jaish al-Islam political official, said the group wanted to continue negotiations.

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Regime forces were locked in violent clashes with Jaish al-Islam rebels in agricultural areas to the southwest and east of the town, the Observatory said.

Assad's forces and Jaish al-Islam began negotiations ten days ago.

The regime's offensive on Ghouta since February 18 has killed more than 1,600 civilians.

The violence came after almost two weeks of calm in the last rebel-held town in the area known as eastern Ghouta after the Russians have agreed with the Army of Islam to evacuate the area toward rebel-held regions north of the country.

The Observatory also said that the Russians promised the rebels that once they hand over their weapons, airstrikes would stop.

A steady trickle of buses had been carrying residents from Douma for nearly a week, apparently under the terms of an agreement struck between Jaish al-Islam and Russian Federation.

The commander also said, "As far as Douma is concerned, resolving it militarily is the solution".

Elsewhere in Syria, a bomb exploded in the Aleppo town of al-Bab, which is controlled by Turkey-backed opposition fighters, killing nine people and wounding 15, according to the activist media collective Aleppo Media Center.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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