Pressure mounts to relieve ‘hell on earth’ in Syria enclave | Pakistan Today

Pressure mounts to relieve ‘hell on earth’ in Syria enclave

International pressure mounted Thursday to end civilian suffering in a rebel-held enclave near Damascus where Syrian jets have been raining bombs in a blitz that has killed more than 300.
United Nations chief Antonio Guterres described the death and devastation that has engulfed Eastern Ghouta since Sunday as “hell on earth”, and joined France in calling for an immediate humanitarian truce.
The UN Security Council is expected to vote, probably on Thursday, on a draft resolution demanding a 30-day ceasefire to allow deliveries of aid and medical evacuations.
The push for a vote came after the Red Cross demanded access to the area, saying the situation was so dire that its teams should be allowed access to Eastern Ghouta to help overwhelmed doctors and nurses.
Fresh air raids on several parts of the enclave killed at least 50 civilians, including eight children, and wounded 350 on Wednesday.
Many of the region’s hospitals have also been targeted, leaving many out of service.
“The fighting appears likely to cause much more suffering in the days and weeks ahead, and our teams need to be allowed to enter Eastern Ghouta to aid the wounded,” said Marianne Gasser, the International Committee of the Red Cross’s head of delegation in Syria.
Syrian warplanes have this month intensified their strikes on the area, which lies just east of Damascus and is home to around 400,000 civilians.
“Wounded victims are dying only because they cannot be treated in time,” Gasser said.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, around 1,500 people have been wounded since Sunday in the one of the bloodiest episodes of the seven-year war.
Many of Wednesday’s victims were killed when barrel bombs – crude, improvised munitions that usually cause indiscriminate damage – were dropped on the town of Kfar Batna.
The hospital in Douma, the largest town in Eastern Ghouta, is still functioning but the influx of wounded is such that doctors and nurses cannot save everyone.
The UN and an NGO said at least seven hospitals were bombed on Monday and Tuesday.
“The regime claims that it’s targeting armed groups and terrorists, but the truth is that it only targets civilians,” said Doctor Ahmad
Abdulghani, at the Dar al-Shifa hospital in Hammuriyeh, heavily damaged by a strike.

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