Regime attacks in Syria's E. Ghouta 'alarming': Turkey

Regime attacks in Syria's E. Ghouta 'alarming': Turkey

"Scenes of entire buildings, housing whole families crashing down with ... women, children and men still inside have become a frequent image", said Salem al-Shami, a resident and activist from Eastern Ghouta.

Meanwhile, in eastern Syria, the regime is accusing the USA of "aggression" after the Syrian government and the US -led coalition exchanged direct attacks in Deir el-Zour province.

Underlining reports that chemical weapons containing chlorine were being used in the regime's attacks on Eastern Ghouta, Aksoy recalled a statement by the chair of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria that said an investigation was launched into the claims.

Nebenzia also said he will raise the US -led coalition's deadly airstrike on Assad regime-backed troops during closed consultations later on the same day at the U.N. Security Council.

In an email Thursday to The Associated Press, Col. Thomas F. Veale said the coalition reported to the Russians the buildup of the pro-government forces in the area before the attack, and communicated with them during and after it.

The US-led coalition battling the Islamic State group said Wednesday it had carried out defensive strikes in the eastern Deir Ezzor region against Syrian pro-regime forces.

Earlier Monday, the USA accused Russian Federation of blocking a UN Security Council statement condemning Sunday's alleged chemical attack in Idlib. "That is not realistic", said Russia's United Nations envoy, Vassily Nebenzia.

The district of Eastern Ghouta, controlled by rebel factions including Islamists, suffered some of its worst bloodshed in years on Tuesday, when 80 civilians were killed.

The United Nations has also said it is looking into reports of chemical attacks in the country.

The airstrikes on civilian residential areas killed 19 in Arbin, 17 in Jisrin, 2 in Zamalka, 3 in Sabka, 3 in Misraba, 7 in Hamuriya, 1 in Bayt Sava and another in Madyara neighborhoods, the sources told agencies.

"Russia should broker understandings that bolster the de-escalation agreement distancing Iran-backed forces from Syria's armistice line with Israel; halt Iran's construction of precision missile facilities and its military infrastructure in Syria; and convince Israel to acquiesce in foreign forces remaining in the rest of Syria pending a deal on the country's future", it added. With its current policy, Ford says sanctions that hinder Russia's military might be the best US option.

The UN humanitarian coordinator for Syria, Panos Moumtzis, has called for a month-long ceasefire to allow aid convoys to reach civilians in Eastern Ghouta.

"The first two of the three sites were said to be Iranian, said Zalzberg".

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, will hold the next Syria summit between Turkey, Russia and Iran in Istanbul.

In a statement, Paulo Pinheiro said the spiraling violence had made "a mockery of the so-called "de-escalation zones" - an agreement reached previous year among Russia, Iran and Turkey to stabilize the lines of conflict and open corridors for humanitarian aid. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details of the attack.



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