Crisis in Syria
Syrian government forces continue airstrikes in Eastern Ghouta, leaving at least 22 dead
Despite the U.N. Security Council unanimously passing a cease-fire resolution Saturday, Syrian government forces continued airstrikes in the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta area outside Damascus, killing at least 22 people on Sunday.
Since this offensive began seven days ago, more than 500 people have been killed in the violence. Doctors in the area said one of the bombs that was dropped contained chlorine gas, and one child suffocated to death from that bomb. Panos Moumtzis, U.N. regional coordinator for Syria, said he was "very, very disappointed" by the attack but thinks there is a still a chance an agreement could be made to bring food and medicine into the area. An estimated 350,000 civilians remain in Eastern Ghouta.
In order to get Russia, a Syrian ally, on board with the cease-fire, the resolution had to exclude "terrorists," The Washington Post reports, and because the Syrian government often refers to all of its opponents as "terrorists," this could be the military's justification for its continued airstrikes. This interpretation was bolstered by an Iranian military official, who said Iran and Syria will abide by the resolution, but Eastern Ghouta is "under terrorists' control."