In a re-engagement of the intense bombing campaign with the addition of chemical attacks, civilians have been the most affected in Eastern Ghouta, as Russian backed forces continued their assault on the city in continued fighting with the rebels. With civilian casualties running high most of the city is in hiding from the air and artillery bombardment including the rebels in their homes or underground shelters. Medical centres have been overwhelmed by the large amount of casualties in such a short period with doctors and aid workers pleading for help to deal with the continuing influx of injured.
With the intensity of the continued bombings aid convoys and anyone seeking to enter Eastern Ghouta have been turned back, making it difficult to assess the chemical attack and to provide aid to those in the areas of attack. Medical centres have said they have admitted people with symptoms of exposure to organophosphorous and chlorine the former being banned under International conventions on the use of nerve agents. The attacks have been denied by Moscow and the Assad regime with Moscow calling the reports on the attacks a false flag operation, and warning that any military response would lead to severe consequences.
Washington’s response has been of condemnation of the attacks with President Trump saying there would be a “big price to pay”, for the chemical attack if proven. Russia and the Assad regimes denials of the attacks have not swayed the International community, but verification of the attack has been problematic due to the fighting in the area and bombardments, with the United Nations not being in a position to verify the reports. With both Washington and Russia threatening action over the alleged attacks will this lead to an escalation in the region between the two superpowers and will this delay the withdrawal of US troops from the region that Trump promised?