Despite a United Nations-brokered 30-day ceasefire in Syria, the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta continues to be pummeled by regime airstrikes. And now, reports have surfaced of the use of chlorine gas, after a child died and at least 13 other people suffered breathing difficulties in the besieged rebel-held enclave. Opposition fighters accused the regime of perpetrating a chemical attack, but Russia, a staunch ally of Bashar al-Assad, accused rebels of using “toxic substances” to make it appear that Syrian forces were responsible. More than 500 locals have been killed and some 2,500 others wounded over the past week in Eastern Ghouta, as the Syrian army attempts to flush out rebels ahead of an anticipated ground operation to secure the area. An estimated 400,000 civilians remain trapped, with rights groups warning of a major humanitarian catastrophe unless aid is allowed to reach the population.
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