Footage shows moment bomb destroys building in East Ghouta as Syria fighting escalates

Video comes as thousands of families remain trapped underground as the fresh air assault continues

Caroline Mortimer
Friday 09 February 2018 02:26
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Video shows the moment a bomb hits a building in Syria as new onslaught new onslaught causes mass civilian casualties

Footage has emerged of the moment a rocket hit a building in a besieged area of East Ghouta, Syria, as the fighting there escalates.

The video shows a sudden blast of dust and as it clears a large hole is visible in a nearby building.

It is not known whether anyone was harmed in the bombing but the man filming the video is heard asking "is anyone there" and a woman is seen on the street with another figure gesturing for help.

The footage, released by Save the Children but captured by Syria Relief, comes at the start of a fresh bombing campaign against the besieged rebel-held area outside Damascus, which is reported to have resulted in the deaths of more than 200 civilians in just four days.

The enclave has been in rebel hands since 2013, and has reportedly been subjected to chemical weapons attacks in the past, but the Syrian regime has stepped up its attacks.

More than 4,000 families are believed to be trapped in underground shelters and flattened schools with at least 11 children who attended a Save the Children sponsored school, along with one teacher, understood to have been killed, the charity said.

It said its partners on the ground reported 45 schools in East Ghouta, where approximately 400,000 live, had been attacked and 11 had been completely destroyed.

The civilians are unable to flee as the area remains under siege and everyone, including children and the critically ill, are barred from leaving.

No UN aid packages or convoys have been able to get into the area since November and food shortages are severe.

Inflation is rampant and food is said to cost around 800 per cent more than in government-controlled areas.

Families are surviving on just one meal a day and burning plastic furniture to keep warm, the charity said.

Sonia Khush, Save the Children’s Syria response director, said: "Children in Eastern Ghouta are being starved, bombed and trapped. Schools are supposed to be safe places for children, protected under international law, yet they are being attacked every single day.

"Children and teachers are terrified that at any moment they could be hit. The siege means there is nowhere for them to escape. There must be an immediate halt to the fighting and an end to the siege"

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