Syria finds chemical weapons workshop in Ghouta

REUTERS  Omar Sanadiki

REUTERS Omar Sanadiki

In an apparent sign of local discontent with the rebel policy of holding out, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group reported that hundreds of people protested in the town of Kafr Batna to demand a deal to end the onslaught. The TV showed several women carrying babies and welcoming the Syrian army, and claiming the rebels were preventing civilians from leaving eastern Ghouta.

Mr Guterres said the United Nations had offered to facilitate talks between the Syrian government, Russian officials and representatives of the three main rebel groups in the Eastern Ghouta - Jaysh al-Islam, Faylaq al-Rahman and Ahrar al-Sham.

Rebel-held parts of Ghouta are under a crippling government siege that has made it hard for its estimated 400,000 residents to access food and medicine.

"Russia is determined to allow the withdrawal of al-Nusra Front fighters from Ghouta and to reinforce the ceasefire, while the Syrian regime, backed by Iranian militias, opts for the military solution as a means to establish control over the besieged areas", the source said.

Syrian jets also struck rebel-held towns in the country's south, the first aerial attacks on the area since the United States and Russian Federation brokered a deal making it a "de-escalation zone" a year ago, rebels and residents said. The United Nations says 400,000 people live in the enclave, already suffering shortages of food and medicine even before the massive assault began in mid-February.

"The center also held talks with the leadership of a number of settlements in Eastern Ghouta on ensuring civilians' access to medical care and humanitarian aid".

Apple Just Bought Texture, a Netflix-Like Service for Magazines
The decision was frustrating to many news publishers that had directed resources toward finding audiences on the social network. We're excited Texture will join Apple, along with an impressive catalog of magazines from numerous world's leading publishers.

The Russian military said late on Sunday that 52 civilians, including 26 children, had been evacuated from the town of Misraba, according to Reuters.

Many, however, are too scared to leave through corridors set up by the Syrian government and their Russian allies.

The Observatory, which tracks death tolls using a network of contacts inside Syria, said it had identified more than 350,000 of those killed, and the remainder were cases where it knew deaths had occurred but did not know the victims' names.

He said people are fleeing out of fear that Turkish troops and Turkey-backed Syrian opposition fighters might commit atrocities against the Kurds and minorities in the town. The group also did not say when the evacuations would begin or where the wounded would be taken.

Turkish troops have destroyed water and power stations that supply the town of Afrin, making it hard for people to stay there, Ebrahim said. Ankara considers the YPG a terror organization linked to its own Kurdish insurgency.

Latest News