By Mohamad Misto and Burak Karacaoğlu
EASTERN GHOUTA/IDLIB (AA) – At least 38 civilians have been killed in regime attacks in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta.
The attacks targeted several towns in the suburb, which has remained under a crippling regime siege for the last five years, bringing it on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe.
The highest death toll was reported in Duma where regime forces pounded the area on Friday, according to an Anadolu Agency correspondent in the area.
Ten people were also killed in attacks in the Sifoniye and Abadde towns and three others in Kafr Batna, the correspondent said.
The death toll is expected to rise as regime airstrike were continuing on Saturday.
According to the White Helmets civil defense agency, a total of 357 people have been killed by regime attacks in Eastern Ghouta in the past five days.
Home to 400,000 residents, Eastern Ghouta falls within a network of de-escalation zones -- endorsed by Turkey, Russia and Iran -- in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
In the past eight months, Assad regime forces have intensified their siege, making it nearly impossible for food or medicine to get into the district, and leaving thousands of patients in need of treatment.
Syria has been locked in a devastating conflict since early 2011 when the regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.
According to UN officials, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict to date.