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10 Febrero 2018, 03:41 | Crisanna Felipe
Samer Boudan Getty Images via CNN
Since the military victory against ISIS, Russian and Syrian government forces have focused once again on the original domestic threat. The United Nations has been unable to deliver aid to the dilapidated Damascus suburb since November, and many of its 400,000 residents have taken desperate measures to survive as food and medical supplies rapidly dwindle.
"It's clear these attacks are part of a systematic strategy in order to basically punish civilians", said Haid Haid, an analyst with the British think tank Chatham House.
On Thursday, the Observatory said 56 people, including 10 children, were killed in towns in the eastern Ghouta area, which has been pummeled by artillery and airstrikes.
Russian Federation dismissed calls for a month-long humanitarian ceasefire as the UN Security Council met to discuss the worsening humanitarian crisis. "We have to respond; otherwise, they will keep doing it", he said. I don't think we can fix the Russian and Syrian government brutality problem.
The Observatory said the eastern Ghouta death toll from four days of bombardment has reached 229, including 58 children.
"Over the last 48 hours, the scale and ferocity of attacks [in Idlib and Eastern Ghouta] increased dramatically resulting in multiple reports of civilian casualties and airstrikes that have reportedly hit at least three hospitals", the commission said in a statement Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on Thursday reported that it had struck pro-Assad forces following "an unprovoked attack", a rare instance of the USA attacking the regime, which is supported by Moscow.
The Save the Children charity said children in the area were being "starved, bombed and trapped".
Quoting an unnamed U.S. official, Reuters news agency said that the coalition was responding to an attack against the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Deir Az Zor. According to the United Nations, nearly 12 percent of children under five suffer from acute malnutrition in Eastern Ghouta; the highest rate recorded since the conflict began.
He said "to confront those who really fight the global terrorists on the ground, on the Syrian side, is criminal".
An injured boy receiving treatment at a hospital in Hazeh in eastern Ghouta, the only remaining rebel stronghold near the capital, Damascus, on Monday.
Residents and activists have described the damage and human suffering on the ground.
Meanwhile, the BBC reported that Syrian Kurdish fighters captured the last two members of an Islamic State cell that, according to USA officials, had beheaded over 27 Western hostages.
A few days later, Russia started their own peace summit in Sochi - one attended by Russia, Turkey and Syrian government officials, but few from the opposition.
Earlier on Thursday, Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin also agreed to hold a trilateral meeting with Iran on Syria, while the two leaders spoke over the phone.
The opposition has controlled much of Eastern Ghouta since 2012, and has been under an unrelenting siege since 2013.
In a statement, Paulo Pinheiro said the spiraling violence had made "a mockery of the so-called 'de-escalation zones"' - an agreement reached a year ago among Russia, Iran and Turkey to stabilise the lines of conflict and open corridors for humanitarian aid.
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