Syria confirms rare United States airstrike on pro-government forces

U.S. and French retaliatory strikes are averted only after a last-gasp agreement between the USA and regime supporter Russian Federation that Syria's chemical weapons arsenal will be destroyed. More than 350 civilians, including 80 children, have been killed since the start of the campaign, the SOHR said, according to the AP.

The White Helmets said they recorded 55 deaths on Tuesday, while many more were trapped under destroyed buildings.

"This was the highest civilian toll in Syria in almost nine months, and one of the bloodiest days for Eastern Ghouta in several years", Abdel Rahman told AFP.

Eastern Ghouta, which lies just east of the capital Damascus, is controlled by rebel factions including Islamists.

Syrian rescuers evacuate badly injured people following regime strikes on the besieged rebel-held enclave of Kafr Batna near Damascus on February 6, 2018. Though he appears to have survived the insurgency, his forces continue to bomb and besiege opposition pockets across Syria, including in eastern Ghouta and Idlib.

Both eastern Ghouta and Idlib province were named as de-escalation zones in a deal brokered in September a year ago between Russia, Turkey and Iran.

At least 300,000 people have been displaced in Idlib since mid-December, when the most recent regime push on the area began. The target was supposedly a research facility west of Damascus.

In 2016, United Nations humanitarian operations chief Stephen O'Brien says almost one million Syrians are under siege, including in Eastern Ghouta, in a "deliberate tactic of cruelty".

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More than 100 YPG fighters and about the same number of pro-Turkey rebels have also died in the fight, the Britain-based monitor said.

Using an alternative acronym for IS, the coalition said it then "conducted strikes against attacking forces to repel the act of aggression against partners engaged in the Global Coalition's defeat-Daesh mission".

On Tuesday, the United Nations called for an immediate ceasefire in Syria on a humanitarian basis for at least 30 days as more than 30 people have been reported to lose their lives from air strikes in the regions that are held by rebels in the northwest of the country and near the capital of Damascus.

"In this extreme situation", the officials called for "an immediate cessation of hostilities lasting for at least one month throughout Syria to enable the delivery of humanitarian aid and services, evacuation of the critically sick and wounded, and alleviation of people's suffering, to the extent possible, wherever they are".

"We're here to ensure the lasting defeat of ISIS is maintained in this area", Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk said during a visit to USA forces in Manbij. Russian Federation has used a veto 11 times to do so since the Syrian civil war began in 2011. If anything, there has been a serious escalation.

"If they come up against us in such a uniform we will see them as ... terrorists", he said at the time.

NGOs suggest more than half a million people have been killed and half the population uprooted since war broke out in 2011, after regime troops brutally put suppressed anti-government protests sparking an armed revolt.

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