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Syria regime, Russian airstrikes target six hospitals in Eastern Ghouta Open in fullscreen

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Syria regime, Russian airstrikes target six hospitals in Eastern Ghouta

More than 250 civilians have been killed in Eastern Ghouta since Sunday. [Getty]

Date of publication: 20 February, 2018

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More than 250 civilians have been killed in Eastern Ghouta, including dozens of children, since the Syrian regime escalation began on Sunday.

A key hospital in Syria's besieged Eastern Ghouta enclave was put out of service on Tuesday, with a monitor blaming Russian airstrikes.

The news came as the United Nations said six hospitals had been hit in Eastern Ghouta in the past 48 hours.

"The Arbin hospital was hit twice today and is now out of service," said Moussa Naffa, country director in Jordan for the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), which supported the clinic.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Arbin hospital was hit by a pair of Russian airstrikes, in what would be the seventh hit in the past two days.

According to the Britain-based war monitor, it is the first time in three months that Russia has conducted raids on Eastern Ghouta, which it had designated last year as a "de-escalation" zone.

An AFP photographer in Arbin saw a Russian Sukhoi Su-34 fighter jet soaring overhead on Tuesday.

The United Nations said Tuesday that six hospitals have been struck in the past 48 hours in Eastern Ghouta.

At least three were out of service and two were only partially functioning, said the UN's regional humanitarian coordinator for Syria, Panos Moumtzis.

"I am appalled and distressed by reports of the horrifying attacks against six hospitals in East Ghouta over the past 48 hours," said Panos Moumtzis, the UN's regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis.

"It's beyond imagination what is happening in East Ghouta today," he said.

"The untold suffering is intolerable and residents have no idea whether they will live or die. This nightmare in East Ghouta must end and must end now."

Syrian regime and Russian bombardments on Tuesday killed 106 civilians, including 19 children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

At least 250 civilians have been killed since the escalation began on Sunday, among them dozens of children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The bloodshed prompted the UN children's agency UNICEF to issue a largely blank statement on Tuesday saying "we no longer have the words to describe children's suffering."

Eastern Ghouta is home to more than 400,000 people living under crippling regime siege, with little access to food or medical resources.

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