The government of Syria has been carrying out brutal airstrikes on the rebel-held area of Eastern Ghouta since Sunday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a U.K.-based war monitoring group. Photos from Syria's Ghouta region show just how devastating those strikes have been for the area's infrastructure and for the people who live there. At least 250 people were killed in the strikes, according to SOHR, which said that 42 women and at least 52 children were among the people who were killed.
The attack has been described as the deadliest in Syria since the government allegedly struck the same area with chemical weapons in 2013. Syrian President Bashar al Assad's regime denies accusations of using chemical strikes against its own people. A local hospital director, Amani Ballour, told CNN that the latest strikes "are the worst days of our lives in Ghouta." He went on to say, "We in Ghouta have been getting hit by airstrikes for more than five years and this is not new to us ... but we have never seen anything like this escalation."
The Eastern Ghouta strikes prompted a "blank" statement from the United Nations, which means that the organization no longer had the words to describe the atrocities. "UNICEF is issuing this blank statement," the United Nations Children's Fund said Tuesday. "We no longer have the words to describe children’s suffering and our outrage. Do those inflicting the suffering still have words to justify their barbaric acts?" UNICEF may have had no words, but on social media, news agencies, photojournalists, and Syrian civilians shared photos of the carnage in Eastern Ghouta so that the rest of the world could know what happened there.
1. People Flee Bombed-Out Areas
Photos show distressed families with young children fleeing for help.
2. Rescuers Running Into The Debris
In this image, an unidentified rescuer can be seen entering a building in Eastern Ghouta.
3. Children Sheltering From The Strikes
A Twitter account that claims to share the experiences of two Syrian sisters, Noor and Alaa, shared a video of the young girls hiding in fear in Eastern Ghouta.
4. Sending Balloons To Damascus
According to Twitter user Asaad Hanna, Syrian children in Eastern Ghouta launched balloons so that they'd reach the capital, Damascus, and "civilians there will see it and do something to help them."
5. Buildings Turned To Rubble
A Syrian girl is shown being taken away from the ruins of a building.
6. ... And More Rubble
Rescuers could be seen attempting to save lives while surrounded by rubble in many photos.
7. Towers of Smoke
Tall clouds of smoke dominate the skyline in Eastern Ghouta.
8. Countless Injuries
Many photos from the scene showed injured civilians seeking shelter.
9. Collapsing Buildings
Ruins are the backdrop of nearly every photo coming out of Eastern Ghouta.
10. Homes Destroyed
In nearly every image coming reportedly out of Ghouta, the destruction was unmistakable.
11. Hospitals Filled To Capacity
Hospitals in Eastern Ghouta filled with civilians needing treatment.
As Syrian journalist Rami Jarrah put it while speaking about the destruction in Eastern Ghouta with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, "We Syrians now don’t see a solution to this war."