Syrian regime targets E. Ghouta with gas: White Helmets

Syrian regime targets E. Ghouta with gas: White Helmets

A Damascus suburb, Eastern Ghouta has remained under crippling regime siege for last five years

By Adham Kako and Levent Tok

EASTERN GHOUTA, Syria/ANKARA (AA) - The Assad regime on Thursday attacked a residential suburb of Damascus with chlorine gas, according to the White Helmets, a pro-opposition Syrian civil defense agency.

Numerous civilians, including children, were injured in the attack, which targeted the opposition-held city of Duma in the Eastern Ghouta district, White Helmets officials said.

Last month, the Assad regime targeted residential parts of Duma with chlorine gas, leading to numerous civilian casualties.

In a recently released annual report, the White Helmets said that as many as 1,337 civilians had been killed in Eastern Ghouta last year amid ongoing attacks by regime forces.

Home to roughly 400,000 residents, Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, has remained under a crippling regime siege for the last five years.

Over the past eight months, the Assad regime has stepped up its siege on Eastern Ghouta, preventing the delivery of food or medicine into the district and leaving hundreds of medical patients in need of treatment.

Notably, Eastern Ghouta falls within a network of de-escalation zones -- endorsed by Turkey, Russia and Iran -- in which acts of aggression are expressly forbidden.

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