Mortar Attack Kills 35 In Syria’s Damascus


Damascus: At least 35 people are killed in a rocket attack on a crowded marketplace in the Syrian capital Damascus, media reported. The attacks come at a time when the Syrian army is advancing in the depth of the rebel bastions in Eastern Ghouta in the countryside of Damascus.

The rocket hit the Kashkoul marketplace located in east of Damascus, leaving several others wounded, Xinhua news agency reported.This was one of the few other attacks in which four people were killed by mortar shells in separate parts of the capital city.

The state TV on Tuesday said the Syrian forces reached the farmlands of the Ayn Tarma area, a key bastion of the Failaq al-Rahman rebels responsible for most of the mortar and rocket attacks on the capital. The Syrian army has already taken control over 80 per cent of Eastern Ghouta. Tuesday’s attack followed a heavy bombardment in the shrinking rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta, which is east of the capital, and killed 38 civilians.

Rebel groups have stepped up artillery attacks since pro-government forces launched a major air and ground assault on the Eastern Ghouta a month ago. Eastern Ghouta, which houses around 400,000 residents, has remained under a crippling regime siege for the last five years with humanitarian access being completely cut off.

In May last year, Russia, Iran and Turkey signed an agreement to set up de-escalation zones, in order to prevent airstrike-related incidents in some parts of Syria. The de-escalation zones include – Idlib province, some parts of Latakia province, Hama and Aleppo provinces, Homs, Eastern Ghouta, Daraa and al-Quneitra provinces in southern Syria. Syria has been embroiled in a civil war since 2011.