Syrian opposition activists say at least 16 people have been killed in new air strikes on the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta, a day after Russian and regime forces battered rebel areas across the country in sweeping air raids. The Syria Civil Defence also said at least three people were killed in new air strikes on the rebel-held province of Idlib.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says at least five towns in the Eastern Ghouta region were hit by Russian or regime air strikes on Tuesday morning.
The Observatory says 16 people were killed while the activist-run Ghouta Media Centre put the toll at 17 dead. Both groups say they expect the death toll to rise.
The air strikes’ campaign that started on Sunday night shows no signs of abating.
The Syrian Civil Defence search-and-rescue group, which works in opposition areas, said it was “another bloody day for civilians” in Eastern Ghouta.
The Syrian Civil Defence, also known as the White Helmets, said Tuesday’s air strikes in Idlib targeted the village of Termala. The White Helmets says three people died while the Observatory put the death toll at five.
Meanwhile, the Russian military said it has asked Turkey to help recover the debris of the Russian fighter jet that was shot down over a rebel-controlled part of Syria over the weekend.Meanwhile, the United Nations is calling for an immediate, month-long cease-fire in Syria in order to deliver critical humanitarian aid and medical care to civilians trapped by fighting in regions across the country.
The UN mission in Syria warned in a statement on Tuesday of “dire consequences” to the compounded humanitarian crises in the country. It identified seven areas requiring urgent humanitarian relief. It says it’s blocked from reaching them due to fighting and forces manning the front lines.
Though Al Assad appears to have survived the rebellion, his forces continue to bomb and besiege opposition pockets around the country.
Meanwhile, Turkish operations against Syrian Kurdish forces and US and Russian-backed operations against Daesh have compounded the suffering of Syrians in the country’s north and east.
Turkey’s military says a Turkish soldier was killed in an attack in Syria’s Idlib province where the Turkish troops are establishing an observation post.