Tit-for-tat attacks in and around metro Damascus have picked up in recent days, and soared dramatically today with the Syrian military launching airstrikes against the marketplace in the rebel-held town of Douma, just outside Damascus, killing at least 110 and wounding over 300 others.
This was the second time the marketplace was hit in the past week, as on Wednesday another airstrike there had killed 27 people. Today’s incident involved a series of strikes, and much of the toll was from those hit in subsequent strikes trying to evacuate the wounded from the first attack.
The Syrian government couched the attacks as retaliatory in nature, saying today’s strikes were aimed at the headquarters of the Jaish al-Islam, which had attacked government positions in Harasta on Saturday, and released a video bragging about their success.
It is so far unclear how many Jaish al-Islam fighters were actually hit in the salvo, but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and other groups on the ground suggested the vast majority of the casualties were civilian bystanders in the market, not combatants.