More deadly regime strikes as Syria toll mounts

Violet Powell
February 7, 2018

Paulo Pinheiro, in a statement, added that the spiralling violence in Syria had made "a mockery of the so-called "de-escalation zones" - an agreement a year ago between Russia, Iran, and Turkey to stabilise the lines of conflict and open corridors for urgently needed humanitarian relief.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said warplanes attacking eastern Ghouta near Damascus had struck the towns of Zamalka, Arbaeen, Hazza and Beitu Soua, killing at least 29 people.

While UN officials say hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, Syrian regime officials say the death toll is closer to 10,000.

Pinheiro said the attacks on Eastern Ghouta involve "the worldwide crimes of indiscriminate bombardment and deliberate starvation of the civilian population".

- Idlib: Military operations in what is one of the last rebel-held stronghold have resulted in increased casualties and the movement of civilians - about 1.2 million out of 2.4 million civilians have been internally displaced.

At least 30 civilians were killed Tuesday in new Syrian government airstrikes in the Ghouta, the region east of Damascus controlled by armed opposition groups and under siege by loyalist troops, according to medical sources cited by Qatari-owned pan-Arab broadcaster Al Jazeera. Though he appears to have survived the insurgency, his forces continue to bomb and besiege opposition pockets across Syria, including in eastern Ghouta and Idlib.

Ice storm warning, weather advisories in Southern Plains
Wednesday and Thursday should then be sunny with highs of 46 and 53, respectively, expected. Precipitation chances will diminish Wednesday as the system moves east.

The UN says it has a plan to reach 700,000 people with relief in the next two months, if it can get the permission to proceed.

A joint investigation team comprising experts from the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons concluded that the Syrian government used chlorine gas in at least two attacks in 2014 and 2015 and used the nerve agent sarin in an aerial attack on Khan Sheikhoun last April 4 that killed about 100 people and affected about 200 others. It said one of its workers was also killed by an airstrike while responding to a call for rescue in the area.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said the military operations in Afrin and Idlib would continue, and repeated Turkey's demand for USA forces to pull back from the town of Manbij where they are stationed alongside Kurdish-led forces. An offensive by Ankara to rout US -backed Syrian Kurdish fighters from the northern enclave of Afrin is now in its third week.

The army began setting up the outpost on Monday southwest of Aleppo city, the deepest position Turkey has established so far inside northwestern Syria under the agreement with Moscow and Tehran aimed at "de-escalating" the violence.

She again rejected Moscow's proposed resolution to replace the JIM, saying it ignores the JIM's findings - "an investigation that Russian Federation supported until the investigators found the Assad regime to be responsible". Al-Qaida-linked militants said they downed the Russian Su-25 in Idlib on Saturday by a portable air defense missile.

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