UPDATES DEATH TOLL, ADDS INJURED CIVILIANS, CHANGES SPOT
By Adham Kako and Fatih Hafiz Mehmet
EASTERN GHOUTA/ANKARA (AA) - At least 58 Syrian civilians were killed and 45 injured in fresh regime attacks in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta on Monday, according to local civil defense sources.
Regime forces launched air and ground attacks on several districts in the suburb, which has been under a crippling siege since 2012.
Twenty civilians, including women and children, were killed in the airstrike in the town of Hammuriya in Eastern Ghouta, the sources -- who are affiliated with the White Helmets civil defense agency -- said.
Fourteen people were killed in ground and air attacks in the town of Saqba, while four others were killed by an airstrike in the town of Jisrin, the same sources added on condition of anonymity due to safety concerns.
In regime barrel bomb and ground attacks in the town of Beit Sawa, 17 civilians were killed and 45 were injured.
In an airstrike on Kafr Batna, two civilians were killed. Another civilian was also killed in a ground attack in Zamalka.
The European Union's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides also issued a joint written statement late Monday regarding the humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta and Idlib.
The statement said unhindered humanitarian access to civilians inside Syria and the protection of civilians and infrastructure was a matter of urgency to prevent further loss of life.
"The international community should unite to stop this human suffering," the statement stressed.
Eastern Ghouta falls within a network of de-escalation zones -- endorsed by Turkey, Russia and Iran -- in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
Nevertheless, the Syrian regime continues to target residential parts of the city, killing at least 539 people -- and injuring more than 2,000 others -- since Dec. 29 of last year.
Home to some 400,000 civilian residents, Eastern Ghouta has remained under a crippling regime siege for the last five 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.