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Syrian airstrikes and shells kill civilians outside capital Damascas

26 Novembre 2017

Sunday's air strikes on the towns of Mesraba and Madira killed 21 civilians, while artillery fire on the town of Douma killed two others, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.

Syrian activists say government airstrikes and shelling have killed at least 19 civilians in Damascus suburbs where rebels have held out against government forces throughout the almost seven years of the country's civil war.

Meanwhile, Syria's state-run media said four people were injured in a rocket attack on Damascus's al-Midan area.

The deaths come despite the area falling within a so-called "de-escalation zone" put in place under a deal between government allies Russian Federation and Iran and rebel backer Turkey.

The government has not yet named its delegation to the talks.

Ghouta residents are so short of food that they are eating trash, fainting from hunger and forcing their children to eat on alternate days, the UN World Food Programme said in a report this week.

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Several people are reported to have died of starvation.

More than 3,40,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011 with anti-government protests.

In a separate development, Russia, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said its warplanes carried out air strikes on positions of Islamic State (IS) militants in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour.

"The toll could rise further because of the number of wounded people in a serious condition", said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.

Earlier this month, Syria announced that its troops had retaken control of Deir al-Zour - the last IS stronghold in the country.

UN-backed peace negotiations are due to begin in Geneva on November 28.

Syrian airstrikes and shells kill civilians outside capital Damascas