UN investigating reports of chlorine attacks in Syria

US syria airstrikes

US syria airstrikes

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 34 people died in the area on Wednesday.

Syrian state television on Thursday also said the US-led coalition against Islamic State had bombed pro-Syrian government forces east of the Euphrates river in eastern Syria's Deir al-Zor province.

"What is happening in Eastern Ghouta is not simply a humanitarian crisis because aid is denied, these sieges involve the worldwide crimes of indiscriminate bombardment and deliberate starvation of the civilian population", stated Mr. Pinheiro, Chairman of the Independent global Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic.

Located in northern Syria near the Turkish border, Idlib was declared a de-escalation zone, according to a cease-fire agreement last May reached in Kazakhstan's capital Astana.

But after a sarin attack the following year, which killed almost 1,500 civilians in the Damascus suburbs according to USA intelligence, Obama opted out of military reprisals and instead secured an agreement along with Russian Federation to dismantle the Syrian chemical arsenal.

In the Idlib province that is now held by rebels, six others were killed by air strikes.

Syria's multisided war has drawn in armies and insurgents from around the world, aggravating a conflict that began in 2011 as an uprising against Assad.

Syrian state-run media said Thursday a rare US strike on government-backed troops in eastern Syria killed and wounded dozens of tribal fighters, calling it a new effort "to support terrorism".

Meanwhile, the Syrian military affirmed armed forces' readiness to confront any attack and "to foil it and to continue the war against terrorism till eliminating it and restoring security and stability to all the Syrian territories".

The SOHR said Tuesday's death toll was the highest recorded in Eastern Ghouta in more than a month.

Civilians had been bracing for more raids as the regime appeared intent on ratcheting up the pressure on Eastern Ghouta, a rebel pocket on the capital's doorstep. In January alone, 211 civilians were killed in the province while another 1,447 were injured. The Syrian government denied deliberately attacking civilian targets, but provided no specifics on what they thought they were attacking.

The SDF and the coalition targeted the attacking forces with air strikes and shelling after "20 to 30 artillery and tank rounds landed within 500 metres (yards) of the SDF headquarters location", a USA official said.

The deadliest attack came Tuesday, when government air strikes and artillery fire targeted 10 towns in the area, killing at least 80 people, including 19 children and 20 women, and injuring 160 others. The region has been under intense attack since the end of December as Bashar Assad struggles to bring it under control. The Syrian American Medical Society said its hospitals in Idlib treated 11 patients for suspected chlorine gas poisoning. Russian Ambassador to the U.N. Vassily Nebenzia said Thursday that the proposed ceasefire is "not realistic", Agence France-Presse reported.

"All this [bombing] is resulting in increased pressure on medical facilities", Khalil, head of Idlib's health directorate said.

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