Wednesday, September 19, 2018 | ePaper

42 killed amid offensive in Ghouta

  • Print
Al Jazeera News  :
At least 42 people have been killed in Syria's Eastern Ghouta as government forces continue to launch air raids on the rebel-held enclave while edging closer to its central towns.
Activists in Douma, one of the main urban centres, told Al Jazeera on Sunday that Syrian jets have "not stopped bombing towns all over Ghouta". Syrian state television reported the town of Mudeira had been seized on Sunday by the army, which was now able to link up with units on the other side of Eastern Ghouta.
Government forces have now surrounded Douma after capturing the neighbouring town of Mesraba, 10km east of Damascus, on Saturday, it said. The advance on Mudeira has driven a wedge deep inside the rebel-held territory, leaving Douma and Harasta cut off. The UN estimates there are 400,000 civilians trapped in Eastern Ghouta.
Activist Nour Adam said eight people died in Jobar, a town east of the capital Damascus, and 16 people from the same family were killed in an attack on Douma.
The rest died in attacks that hit the towns of Harasta, Zamalka, and Irbin, Adam said.
On Saturday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based war monitor, told Al Jazeera that Eastern Ghouta had been divided into three - Douma and its surroundings; Harasta in the west; and the rest of the towns further south. The government's latest offensive on Eastern Ghouta, which began on February 18, has killed 1,099 civilians over the past 21 days, the Syrian Observatory reported.
The figure includes 227 children and 145 women, while at least 4,378 others have been wounded.
The Syrian Civil Defence, a volunteer rescue group also known as the White Helmets, said on Sunday a government attack on Irbin a day earlier involved "chlorine ... phosphorus". It was the second alleged chemical attack to hit the suburb in a matter of days. The government denies using either incendiary weapons or chlorine gas bombs and said on Saturday it had information the rebels were planning to stage a fake chemical attack to discredit the army.
The Syrian government's offensive follows a pattern of previous assaults on opposition strongholds, deploying massive air power and tight sieges to force rebel fighters to accept "evacuation" deals.
These involve rebels surrendering territory in exchange for safe passage to opposition areas in northwest Syria, along with their families and other civilians who do not want to come back under Assad's rule.
Al Jazeera's Alan Fisher, reporting from Gaziantep along the border in neighbouring Turkey, said Russian-backed Syrian forces tend to use military gains to try and secure a "political advantage".
"[They do so] by saying to fighters maybe you should move to another part of Syria," Fisher said.
On Friday, a number of rebel fighters and their families were evacuated from Eastern Ghouta, state media reported.
These include rebels from Jaish al-Islam, one of the main opposition groups in the enclave, which announced it had agreed to the evacuation of several Hay'et Tahrir al-Sham fighters - previously part of al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front - who were detained by the group.
Wael Olwan, spokesman of the rebel group Failaq al-Rahman, with ties to the Free Syrian Army, denied on Sunday that such negotiations were taking place - despite the government's claims that talks with rebel groups were under way.  The Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta has been under the control of armed opposition groups since 2013 - two years after a popular uprising called for the removal of President Bashar al-Assad.
The area has been under a suffocating siege by government forces since then in an attempt to drive out rebels.

More News For this Category

Ctg Port security remains elusive

Monirul Alam :Security at Chittagong Seaport remained elusive due to acute shortage of scanners.The port authority combined with Chittagong Customs is carrying out scanning activity by only four general scanners.

Shahidul Alam seeks HC bail

Staff Reporter :Renowned photographer Shahidul Alam on Tuesday filed a petition with the High Court seeking bail in a case filed on charge of spreading rumours against the state.He submitted

Plan to abolish quota from jobs of 2 grades a deception: BNP

BNP senior leader Moudud Ahmed on Tuesday said the recommendation for abolishing the quota system for Grade-I and Grade-II jobs in civil service is a 'deception' by the government.Speaking at

'Crimes' against Rohingyas demand action: UN

The New York Times :Catching up with villagers from Min Gyi who had escaped the Myanmar Army's assault on their homes, the soldiers first killed all the men, shooting them

BD, Russia sign protocol amending Rooppur power plant

Dhaka and Moscow have signed a protocol to bring amendments to an agreement signed by both sides on development of Rooppur nuclear power plant.On sideline of the 62nd General Conference

BD nat'l jailed over immigration offences

The Star Online, Malaysia :A Bangladeshi national was fined RM30,000 and sentenced to 80 months' jail today and two strokes of caning by the Pekan Nanas Immigration Sessions Court in

Tk 3,825.34 project to procure EVMs okayed

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday cleared a Tk 3,825.34 crore project to procure 1.5 lakh electronic voting machines (EVMs).The approval came from the weekly

PM seeks India's continued support for BD's dev

PM seeks India's continued support for BD's dev

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said she looks forward to continued support from India for the development of Bangladesh."I look forward to continued support from the government of India

2 bodies found in Savar

Staff Reporter  :Police recovered two bodies, including a woman from Savar area on the outskirts of the capital on Tuesday.The deceased were identified as Abdur Rahim, 30, a worker of

Throat-slit bodies of woman, minor boy found

UNB, Gazipur :Police recovered the throat-slit bodies of a woman and a madrasa student from Jugitola area in the city on Tuesday morning.The deceased were identified as Muhmuda Akhter Smrity,