Scores of people were killed on Sunday when the Syrian regime targeted a town in an opposition-held suburb of Damascus with “barrel bombs”, according to a local medical source.
The source, who works at a local field hospital, told Anadolu Agency that Syrian aircraft had targeted the town of Douma, the largest town in the capital’s Eastern Ghouta suburb.
“Barrel bombs” are improvised devices typically consisting of barrels filled with explosive material, shrapnel, oil or chemicals. They are usually dropped from army helicopters.
According to the medical source, at least 100 people – including a number of women and children – were killed in the attacks on Douma, while at least 500 others were injured and several building destroyed.
Last Wednesday, the regime carried out airstrikes on the same area, leaving at least 60 people dead, according to local sources.
The Syria conflict began in early 2011 when the regime of President Bashar al-Assad responded with unexpected ferocity to popular protests that erupted as part of the “Arab Spring” uprisings.
More than four years of intense fighting has has left the country divided between pro-Assad forces and a number of heavily-armed opposition factions, which are often at odds among themselves.
Roughly half of the country’s population has been displaced by the violence, with nearly four million Syrians now seeking refuge in neighboring countries, especially Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.
The conflict has left more than 220,000 people dead to date, according to UN figures.
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