MIDDLE EAST

28 civilians killed by Assad regime airstrikes in Eastern Ghouta

28 CIVILIANS KILLED BY ASSAD REGIME AIRSTRIKES IN EASTERN GHOUTA

Twenty-eight civilians were killed Wednesday by Assad regime airstrikes in besieged Eastern Ghouta, according to Syria's civil defense agency.

The regime's continued ground and air attacks on Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, come despite separate cease-fire initiatives endorsed by Russia and the UN Security Council.

In attacks since Wednesday morning, ground attacks and airstrike targeted Eastern Ghouta's Douma and Haresta districts and the Sakba, Ayn Terma, Arbin, Hammuriyah, Beit Sawa, Jisrin, Misraba and Kafr Batna regions.

According to the White Helmets civil defense agency, today's deadliest bombardment -- which left 20 people dead, most of them children and women -- took place in Hammuriyah, Eastern Ghouta. Casualties from the ongoing regime raids may rise, said the agency.

Since Feb. 19, at least 834 people have been killed in Eastern Ghouta, and the death toll is expected to rise further as attacks by the regime remain ongoing.

Home to some 400,000 people, Eastern Ghouta has remained under a crippling regime siege for the last five years.

Over the last eight months, the regime has stepped up its siege, making it nearly impossible for food or medicine to enter the district and leaving thousands of civilians in dire need.

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