In the eastern suburbs of Damascus, a region called Eastern Ghouta, nearly 500 people have been killed in a deadly escalation by the Syrian government that began Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told The Associated Press. More than 120 of the dead are children, the group says.
“Airstrikes, artillery shells and barrels filled with TNT are being dropped on neighborhoods that are heavily populated by civilians who have no way to escape,” NPR’s Lama Al-Arian reports. “They’re being forced into bunkers, and many of them can’t even find the time to bury their dead.”
“I am deeply saddened by the terrible suffering of the civilian population in Eastern Ghouta — 400,000 people that live in hell on earth,” he said to the U.N. Security Council. “I don’t think we can let things go on happening in this horrendous way. “
Syrian state media said rebel factions had fired shells at the Old City of Damascus on Saturday, Reuters reported.