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Residents of This Damascus Suburb Worry It Could Be the Next Aleppo

One of the strongest remaining rebel coalitions, Eastern Ghouta has endured frequent bombardment and shelling from regime forces and ally Russia.

by Olivia Alabaster
27 December 2016, 9:15pm

Now that Aleppo has fallen to Assad's forces, people in Eastern Ghouta, a heavily populated, rebel-held Syrian suburb outside of regime-stronghold Damascus, are wondering if they will be next.

A hot spot for some of the earliest and most intense anti-government protests in 2011, Eastern Ghouta became a rebel-stronghold in 2013. That year, the city suffered a sarin gas attack by government forces that killed hundreds and famously prompted U.S. President Barack Obama to ignore his previously drawn "red line" on chemical weapons use. The area's been under siege ever since.

Home to an estimated 450,000 people and one of the strongest remaining rebel coalitions, Eastern Ghouta has endured frequent bombardment and shelling from regime forces and ally Russia, which entered the war in 2015.

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