Syria’s Ghouta suffers deadliest violence in years of civil war
Syrian pro- government forces began an extended bombardment of eastern Ghouta, a rebel- held district just outside of Damascus, killing hundreds of people and injuring well over a thousand. Rockets, shells, airstrikes, and barrel bombs rained on the area throughout February, intensifying around February 18, as troops gathered nearby in preparation for a possible ground assault. The UN said six hospitals were hit during the attacks. An estimated 127 people were killed on February 19 alone, according to the UK- based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, marking the deadliest single day of the Syrian civil war in three years. On February 24, the UN Secretary Council voted unanimously in favor of a 30- day country- wide ceasefire, which would also allow for the delivery of humanitarian aid in the district, but the Syrian government’s attacks continued after the vote. However, with the bombardment of Ghouta still ongoing, it remains to be seen if the truce will be fully implemented.