Scores of civilians killed as airstrikes pound Syria's rebel-held Eastern Ghouta

PKK’s ethnic cleansing in Syria exposed

"The foreign ministry condemns the false claims by the United States that the Syrian government used chemical weapons in Eastern Ghouta", a foreign ministry source said, cited by Syrian state news agency SANA.

"It's completely clear to us the goal is to basically accuse the Syrian government of chemical weapons use where no perpetrators have been identified", said Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia.

The onslaught came a day after a rash of airstrikes battered Syrian opposition areas, killing more than 28 people east of Damascus and striking at hospitals and residential buildings in the northwestern Idlib province.

The UN Commission of Inquiry on the human rights situation in Syria said on Tuesday it had received "multiple reports - which it is now investigating - that bombs allegedly containing weaponised chlorine have been used in the town of Saraqeb in Idlib and in Douma in Eastern Ghouta". The Observatory said 47 people had been killed, while the Civil Defence put the death toll at 45.

On Monday, more than 20 civilians were killed, including women and children, in similar airstrikes on principal locations in the Ghouta.

Sieges in the rebel-held Damascus enclave of eastern Ghouta "involve the global crimes of indiscriminate bombardment and deliberate starvation of the civilian population", Paulo Pinheiro, head of the worldwide Commission of Inquiry on Syria, said in a statement issued in Geneva.

Insurgent shelling of government-held Damascus killed three people, the Observatory and Syrian state media reported.

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In a statement, Paulo Pinheiro said the spiraling violence had made "a mockery of the so-called "de-escalation zones" " - an agreement reached past year among Russia, Iran and Turkey to stabilize the lines of conflict and open corridors for humanitarian aid.

Russian Federation retorted that "no perpetrators have been identified" and accused the United States of orchestrating a "propaganda campaign" against the Syrian government.

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on worldwide law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.

"We implore the worldwide community to speak with one voice, taking every opportunity to publicly pressure the Assad regime, and its supporters, to cease its use of chemical weapons", spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement Monday night. The pilot ejected from his aircraft but died following an exchange of gunfire on the ground.

Jan Egeland, the head of a United Nations task force on humanitarian aid in Syria, said 7,878 people were displaced per day in 2017 (equating to around 240,000 per month) especially in areas such as Deir el-Zour, Raqqa, Aleppo, and rural Damascus.

Hundreds of thousands are trying to escape the intensified assault and are seeking refuge at makeshift camps near Turkey's border.

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