Syria: Government Forces Advance on Besieged Damascus Suburb

HeadlineMar 12, 2018

In Syria, government forces are pressing an all-out assault on the besieged rebel-held Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta. Syrian ground forces advanced over the weekend, effectively cutting the territory into three parts. Human rights groups say the assault has killed more than 1,100 people in the last month. The U.N. estimates some 400,000 civilians remain trapped in Eastern Ghouta and are in desperate need of food, water and medicine. The Syrian Civil Defense rescue group, known as the White Helmets, accused Syria’s government of using chlorine gas and incendiary white phosphorus munitions. Syria’s government denies using chemical weapons. Meanwhile, Turkish troops have massed on the outskirts of the Kurdish-held northern city of Afrin and appear poised for an invasion. Over the weekend, thousands of Afrin’s residents fled the city amid stepped-up airstrikes by Turkish warplanes.

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