Assad regime, Russian airstrikes kill 61 civilians in Syria

ANI | Updated: Mar 17, 2018 07:08 IST

Damascus [Syria], Mar 17 (ANI): At least 61 civilians were killed and 100 others were injured when Syrian regime and Russian warplanes struck a crowded market in Eastern Ghouta.

According to Anadolu Agency, the White Helmets civil-defence agency confirmed the death toll and said the attack occurred in the town of Kafr Batna.

Meanwhile, hundreds of civilians in northwestern Syria, Afrin, where Turkey's Operation Olive Branch is ongoing, are trying to flee the district centre despite the blockades by the terrorists.

As the Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces are getting closer to the district centre, the civilians in Afrin began to flee the town.

Since February 19, escalating hostilities have resulted in 500 deaths and some 1,500 injuries in Eastern Ghouta, with 24 health facilities impacted by shelling and airstrikes, according to UN officials.

Eastern Ghouta, which houses around 400,000 residents, has remained under a crippling regime siege for the last five years with humanitarian access being completely cut off.

In May last year, Russia, Iran and Turkey signed an agreement to set up de-escalation zones, in order to prevent airstrike-related incidents in some parts of Syria.

The de-escalation zones include - Idlib province, some parts of Latakia province, Hama and Aleppo provinces, Homs, Eastern Ghouta, Daraa and al-Quneitra provinces in southern Syria.

Syria has been embroiled in a civil war since 2011. Protesters have been long demanding the resignation of President Assad over his autocratic rule. (ANI)