Adding to the rising death toll in the fight over the area around Damascus, Syrian warplanes pounded the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta district today, killing at least 20 civilians, including seven children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Eastern Ghouta is the last rebel-held area around Damascus, and has been getting pounded by the military for months. Syrian military forces have also made some incursions, taking a few strategic areas therein.
They haven’t attempted to advance too deeply, however, and have mostly relied on airstrikes and shelling to keep the rebels at arm’s length, often resulting in significant civilian death tolls.
The rebels in Eastern Ghouta are mostly Islamist in nature, but not members of major factions elsewhere in the country. This has limited the ability to negotiate a surrender where the rebels withdraw, as has happened elsewhere.
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