Syria's Eastern Ghouta: 18 days under attack

Western mainstream media biased in Syria reporting: American journalist

A war monitoring group says at least 50 people have been killed in government shelling and airstrikes on the eastern Ghouta suburbs of the Syrian capital.

Russia, President Bashar al-Assad's most powerful ally, has offered rebels safe passage out with their families and personal weapons.

Russia's Defense Ministry said it was extending an offer to allow armed rebels to leave eastern Ghouta with their families and weapons.

The investigators said an air strike by a Russian aircraft using unguided weapons hit a market killing at least 84 people in Atareb, west of Aleppo, in November 2017, while strikes by the US -led coalition killed 150 residents of a school holding displaced people near Raqqa in March 2017.

A spokesman for one of the dominant rebel groups in Eastern Ghouta, Faylaq al-Rahman, accused Russia - Syria's key ally - of military escalation and of trying to displace the population by force.

Earlier on Wednesday, Reuters News Agency reported that a military spokesperson for an unnamed rebel group said that they will not accept a negotiation brought forward by Russian Federation.

Live footage broadcast by Syrian state TV from the outskirts of the town of Mesraba earlier on Wednesday showed enormous clouds of smoke rising into the sky.

The symbolic mark was reached "after forces retook Al-Ashaari and Beit Sawa towns as well as farmland in the centre and north of Eastern Ghouta", he told AFP.

Weakened Merkel has her work cut out to make coalition last
Former SPD Chairman Martin Schulz was forced to resign when he initially ruled out another grand coalition. Mrs Merkel praised the SPD's decision and said she looked forward to working with them in coalition.

He said Cavusoglu plans to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during his visit to the United States.

The UK-based watchdog group said the new achievement comes under a heavy aerial and rocket cover, with the warplanes carrying out 157 airstrikes on Eastern Ghouta on Wednesday.

The relentless attacks prompted France and Britain to request an emergency meeting of the top United Nations body behind closed doors on Wednesday to discuss the ceasefire's failure to take hold.

The United States has made its strongest accusation to date of Moscow's complicity in civilian deaths in Syria, saying Russian aircraft flew bombing missions over the besieged eastern Ghouta region in defiance of a United Nations ceasefire.

Laerke said the team found a desperate situation for people who have endured months without access to humanitarian aid.

Turkey has also launched a campaign to oust a Syrian Kurdish militia from the enclave of Afrin that Ankara considers to be "terrorist" and linked to an insurgency within Turkey's own borders.

Exhausted civil defence workers took advantage of a few hours of calm to dislodge the body of a resident, killed in bombardment several days ago, from a collapsed building.

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