6 days of escalating the shelling and the violent fighting in the Eastern Ghouta kills about 140 citizens, fighters and members

Rif Dimashq Province – The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: the intensive targeting by the regime forces and the warplanes to the Eastern Ghouta of Damascus is continuing, in which the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored that the warplanes carried out 5 raids targeting areas in Arbin city controlled by Al-Rahman Corps and its outskirts, which resulted in the injury of 13 persons at least with varying severity, including children and citizen women, while the regime forces fired 6 missiles believed to be ground-to-ground on areas in Harasta city, in which the violent clashes are continuing near it between the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them against Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham, the Islamic movement of Ahrar Al-Sham and Al-Rahman Corps, in areas in the vicinity of Harasta, the vicinity of the Vehicle Department and near the governorate building and Al-Hagaz Garage, as a part of the attempts of the factions to achieve advancement and expand their scope of control at the expense of the regime forces, while the latter are seeking to regain the control of the positions it lost during the latest attack of the factions which started on the 29th of December 2017, and which has been still continuing until to day the 3rd of January 2018.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored that the ongoing and violent fighting as well as the continuous shelling resulted in more human losses in the ranks of the both parties, in which the number of the members of the regime forces and their allied militiamen who were killed in the shelling and the clashes in the Eastern Ghouta, has increased to 44 members at least, including 3 officers at least including 4 brigadiers, while it rose to 47, the number of fighters of the factions who were killed in the same clashes, also tens of both parties were injured with varying severity, while 10 members at least of the regime forces and gunmen loyal to them were captured during the fighting and the hit-and-run clashes, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also documented the death of 46 citizens at least including 11 children and 4 citizen women, who were killed due to the aerial, artillery and rocket shelling on cities and town in the Eastern Ghouta since Friday the 29th of December 2017 and until now, and the casualties are 26 citizens including 8 children, 3 citizen women and a male nurse, they were killed in raids by the warplanes on areas in Harasta city controlled by the Islamic movement of Ahrar Al-Sham and raids on Madyara town, and 20 citizens including 3 children, a citizen woman and 2 male nurses were killed by artillery and rocket shelling targeted areas in the cities of Harasta, Hamuriya, Douma and Arbin as well as the towns of Kafr Batna, Mesraba, Al-Nashabiyah and Otaya, and the aerial and artillery shelling left tens of casualties and wounded included a large number of children and citizen women, and the number of casualties may increase because of the presence of serious injuries.

It is noteworthy that the factions seek to expand their control in the area and control the Vehicle Department and the governorate building in order to further secure the Eastern Ghouta and Harasta and let the fighters become free for new operations against the regime forces. This control will allow the factions to open new fronts near the vicinity of the capital Damascus, amid information obtained by the SOHR about the arrival of reinforcement of the regime forces to the area to back up the operations against the violent attacks of the factions, in an attempt to begin rebel attack to restore what they have lost and break the siege of the Vehicle Department.

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