Syria: 30 civilians killed in air strikes near Damascus

Syria: 30 civilians killed in air strikes near Damascus

The Observatory relies on a network of sources inside Syria and says it determines whose planes carry out raids according to type, location, flight patterns and munitions used. Earlier, the ministry said a Mi-24 helicopter had crash-landed in Syria on December 31 due to a technical fault and two pilots died.

Food is scarce and about 650 people need urgent medical care, but with medicine rationed many are dying.

Russian Kommersant newspaper reported earlier that seven Russian military planes had been destroyed and more than 10 military personnel killed in the mortar attack.

Some 400,000 people in the area have been under siege by Russian-backed Syrian government forces since 2013.

Eastern Ghouta is the last rebel enclave around the Syrian capital.

Airstrikes have continued to hit the rebel-held city of Harasta, with the United Nations warning that as many as 400,00 civilians in the area face "complete catastrophe" because aid deliveries have been blocked by the government and people needing urgent medical treatment have not been allowed outside the enclave.

More news: Wet weather with some winter mix possible going into the weekend

The government has escalated its attacks on Idlib, which is designated a de-escalation zone, following more than a week of battles with al-Qaida-linked militants in southern Idlib and adjacent territory in northern Hama.

Assad forces have been bombing Eastern Ghouta since November 14.

Russian media have reported that a deadly December 31 rebel mortar attack on an airbase in Syria destroyed up to seven Russian warplanes.

"As darkness fell, the Hmeimim air base was subjected to sudden mortar shelling from a mobile group of militants. Two military servicemen were killed in the shelling".

Read alsoRussian general seriously wounded in land mine blast in Syria - KommersantThe ministry called media reports, in particular, those by Russia's Kommersant, about the alleged "actual destruction" of seven Russian military aircraft at Khmeimim Air Base "fake news".

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