The United States has condemned "in the strongest possible terms" a series of airstrikes carried out Sunday by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in the rebel-held city of Douma in which more than 100 people were killed.
According to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the air raids targeted a busy marketplace during rush hour in the city, which lies some seven miles outside of Damascus.
More than 250 people were wounded in the strikes, activists said.
In a statement Monday, State Department spokesman John Kirby condemned the attacks "in the strongest possible terms."
"Yesterday’s airstrikes, following its other recent market bombings and attacks on medical facilities, demonstrate the regime’s disregard for human life," Kirby said. "As we have said, Assad has no legitimacy to lead the Syrian people."
Video footage uploaded online purported to show the chaotic aftermath of the attacks, with activists sharing images on social media of mangled debris and dead bodies, including those of children.
"This is an official massacre that was carried out deliberately," Rami Abdurrahman, head of the SOHR, told the Associated Press.
Abdurrahman said government warplanes fired one missile, then proceeded to fire another when people had gathered in the aftermath to help the injured.
He said some four missiles in total struck the market on what is the first day of the working week in Syria.
Another Douma-based activist, who uses the name Mazen al-Shami, told the AP that the situation "is catastrophic," with hospitals full of wounded people being transported by civilian cars due to ambulances being overwhelmed by the demand.
Douma has been the scene of regular attacks by government forces in recent month as the Assad regime struggles to wrestle the city back from rebels.
The SOHR also said that regime helicopters on Sunday dropped barrel bombs on the southwestern city of Daraa, near the Jordanian border, killing at least five people.
The U.N. estimates more than 220,000 people have been killed in the Syrian civil war since fighting began more than four years ago.
David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.
Contact David Mack at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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