As the aerial and artillery shelling of eastern Ghouta continued on its third day, up to 17 people, including at least four children and two women, were killed and several were wounded as the town of Hazza was struck by Russian and/or Syrian regime forces, local media reported.
What Zaman al-Wasl, described as “a fierce military campaign” continued in eastern Ghouta, including Hazza, and contained both artillery shelling and missile attacks, especially striking residential areas.
In Hazza, the initial reports put the death toll between seven and nine, which according to Ghouta Media Center (GMC) included children and women from the same family. The source, who blamed Russian air raids, reported “the death of a whole family of eight people, including four children and two women.”
However, on the following day, February 22nd, GMC itself amended the death toll to 17, noting that additional bodies had been found under the rubble.
According to reports, the strikes had also caused injuries among the civilians who were trapped in the rubble, though no exact figures were provided.
Several reports mentioned that the city had been struck by explosive barrels launched from helicopters. For example, HalabToday TV reported how “the Medical Mercy Center is out of service by shelling the explosive barrel on the town of Haza.”
Sources were not clear in terms of culpability, as blame was appointed to either the Syrian regime, Russia, or both across the reports. However, in one report GMC blamed Russian airstrikes while in another, it blamed Syrian regime helicopters for launching explosive barrels, thus indicating engagements from both belligerents.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (10) [ collapse]
Russian Armed Forces Assessment:
Original strike reports
Russia has not reported any strikes between February 1st - 28th 2018.