Syria: 30 civilians killed in air strikes near Damascus

Syria: 30 civilians killed in air strikes near Damascus

Elsewhere in Eastern Ghouta, the last major rebel enclave near Damascus, at least ten people were killed in aerial strikes in other nearby towns, the Observatory, rescuers and residents said.

More than 40 people have died in recent air raids by Syrian state forces on rebel-held positions near Damascus.

Two Russian servicemen were killed in an attack at Syria's Hmeimim air base, the country's defence ministry said on Thursday, bringing the total number of officially reported losses to 44. It has killed more than 340,000 people.

The war in Syria has killed more than 340,000 people and displaced millions from their homes since it began in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.

Eastern Ghouta has been targeted despite being among a handful of so-called de-escalation zones in Syria, where military activity is prohibited under a ceasefire agreement endorsed by Turkey, Russia, and Iran earlier this year.

Rebels in Eastern Ghouta have managed to keep Syrian military forces at bay during years of war, but a four-year government siege of the district has led to a humanitarian crisis with severe shortages of food and medicine.

The Ministry of Defense pointed out that on December 31, at sunset, the military installation in Latakia province was attacked by a mobile group of fundamentalists, but the operational capacity of its air units was not affected at all.

The Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed that two "military personnel" died in a mortar attack on its Khmeimim airbase in Syria's Latakia Province on December 31.

The ministry had denied the helicopter crashed following an attack.

Russian air strikes have helped President Bashar al-Assad's struggling forces regain control over Syria.

Russian Federation announced it will pull the bulk of its troops from Syria starting March 15, in a process that could take up to 5 months.

Russian Federation became involved in the multi-front conflict in September 2015, when it began an aerial campaign in support of President Bashar al-Assad's military.

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