Assad regime 'seizes two towns' in Syria's besieged Eastern Ghouta

Assad regime 'seizes two towns' in Syria's besieged Eastern Ghouta
2 min read
17 March, 2018
The brutal Assad regime has captured two towns in Eastern Ghouta on Saturday, as it continues its assault against civilians in the rebel enclave.
The death toll in Eastern Ghouta has surpassed 1,000 [Getty]
The Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad captured two more towns in Eastern Ghouta on Saturday, a war monitor said, pressing an offensive to capture the rebel enclave on the doorstep of Damascus.

Government forces seized Kafr Batna and Sabqa in the south of the enclave, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, as thousands of civilians fled into regime-held territory.

The same watchdog reported that at least 30 casualties occurred in Eastern Ghouta on Saturday morning after regime airstrikes targeted the village of Zamalka. 

The strikes came amid Russian reports that over 7,000 people alone had fled the besieged enclave on Saturday morning.

Rebel group Jaish al-Islam also reported shooting down a regime helicopter using an Osa missile system.

Syrian regime planes launched a series of dawn strikes using highly-explosive missiles on civilian areas on Zamalka, resulting in a number of deaths and injuries, Syrian activist Mohammed al-Shami told al-Araby al-Jadeed.

The brutal Assad’s regime’s assault on Ghouta has left nearly 1,250 civilians dead, around a fifth of them children.

The Syrian conflict began when the Baath regime, in power since 1963 and led by Assad, responded with military force to peaceful protests demanding democratic reforms during the Arab Spring wave of uprisings, triggering an armed rebellion fuelled by mass defections from the Syrian army.

According to independent monitors, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed in the war, mostly by the regime and its powerful allies, and millions have been displaced both inside and outside of Syria. The brutal tactics pursued mainly by the regime, which have included the use of chemical weapons, sieges, mass executions and torture against civilians have led to war crimes investigations.