'Only God can stop these bombs': Eastern Ghouta reels from Russian strikes

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"A humanitarian ceasefire would enable the delivery of life-saving assistance and the evacuation of hundreds of critically ill patients urgently needing medical treatment" in Eastern Ghouta, he said.

Images of blood-soaked children and adults competed with video of rescuers carrying white body bags or pulling survivors from the debris of destroyed homes. American personal were said to be in tow. A spokesman said 80 people died Thursday alone in Eastern Ghouta.

"We would like to see a cease-fire, the end of the war, but the terrorists, I am not sure, are in agreement", he said. He has kept the enclave under siege since 2013, shortly after a sarin gas attack by regime forces killed an estimated 1,429 people there.

The Ghouta region, home to almost 400,000 people trapped by the violence, has been under intense attack since the end of December as the government of President Bashar Assad struggles to bring it under control.

The Observatory said the eastern Ghouta death toll from four days of bombardment has reached 229, including 58 children.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least some Israeli missiles hit military targets near Damascus.

Aid workers there say several hospitals have been bombed, some a few times in a largely successful effort to put them out of service and deter civilians from using them.

In an apparent warning to Ankara, a commander in the military alliance supporting Assad said the Syrian army had deployed new air defenses and anti-aircraft missiles to front lines with rebels in the Aleppo and Idlib areas.

Obama, naively, backed down when Russian President Vladimir Putin intervened and offered the USA president a deal that the Syrian government would destroy all its chemical weapons if only Obama would back down on his threat to use force against Damascus.

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Warplanes have bombed a number of towns in the region, causing buildings to collapse on residents.

Activists say the campaign in Ghouta escalated after rebels there refused to join peace talks hosted by Russian Federation last month.

France and the United Nations have repeatedly called in past months for the opening of aid corridors to alleviate the humanitarian crisis. Much-needed aid is blocked from entering the area, and civilians, including critically ill children, are barred from leaving, it said. The US-led coalition against ISIL said it had repelled an assault on its allies on Wednesday night by militias loyal to Mr Al Assad in Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria.

Eastern Ghouta is supposed to be one of four "de-escalation zones" declared a year ago in a bid to reduce the bloodshed.

Eastern Ghouta, a suburban area near Damascus, has been surrounded by Syrian forces for more than four years.

Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011, when the regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

The doctor in Eastern Ghouta listed the casualties of a bloody day.

The deadliest strikes hit a market in the town of Erbin and killed 21 civilians including nine children.

Hassan emphasized the potential for symbolism in recent airstrikes: "If Russia wants to strike against the Syrian opposition and show them the costs of not playing along", he said, "it makes sense because in striking these areas, they strike the symbols of the Syrian revolution".

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