250 dead in Syria's Eastern Ghouta in 48hrs: Rights group

  • 250 dead in Syria's Eastern Ghouta in 48hrs: Rights group

250 dead in Syria's Eastern Ghouta in 48hrs: Rights group

Over a dozen people were injured on Tuesday night in Syria's eastern Ghouta, where one of the heaviest bombardments in seven years of war has hammered a besieged enclave, killing at least 250 people in 48 hours, a war monitor said.

Sparking an global outcry, a surge in pro-government air strikes, rocket fire and shelling has killed more than 210 people - including 54 children in the rebel pocket near Damascus since Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

France, a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, described the bombardment as a serious violation of worldwide humanitarian law.

The statement was supposed to report on mass casualties among children in Eastern Ghouta and Damascus.

Terrorists and their supporters keep up using citizens in Eastern Ghouta and other regions as human shields, it added.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Washington was "deeply concerned" by the rising violence in Ghouta.

The enclave is home to 400,000 people. The rights group said at least 106 of the civilian deaths took place on Tuesday.

"Every day people die and we're used to it", Nour Adam, 22, a media activist in Eastern Ghouta who asked that his real last name be withheld out of concern for the safety of family members in government territory, told ABC News via Skype.

"The warplanes are not leaving the sky at all", said Siraj Mahmoud, a civil defense spokesman in Ghouta, as the sound of explosions rang out in the background. The army retaliated and pounded militant targets, according to the state news agency SANA.

Newsy previously reported the strikes had killed close to 100 people late Sunday and Monday. Syria's main opposition group condemned the government onslaught as a "bloodbath" and a "war crime".

Pro-government forces - backed by Russian Federation - intensified their efforts to retake the last major rebel stronghold on Sunday night.

In May a year ago, Russia, Iran and Turkey signed an agreement to set up de-escalation zones, in order to prevent airstrike-related incidents in some parts of Syria. Food, fuel and medicine have dwindled.

Meanwhile, there were also reports of shelling from Eastern Ghouta on Damascus. He said Moscow and its allies could "deploy our experience of freeing Aleppo ... in the eastern Ghouta situation". The need to urgently make progress on the political track under United Nations auspices and to maintain the global engagement to solve the political and humanitarian situation in Syria was recalled by all the participants.