Middle East

US woman trapped in Ghouta pleads Trump to help end bombings

An American woman trapped in Ghouta has pleaded with President Donald Trump to put more pressure on Russia to stop the bombings.

Nearly 400,000 people are trapped in eastern Ghouta in Syria.

One of the trapped is American schoolteacher Deana Lynn and she's pleading with US President Donald Trump to put more pressure on Russia to "stop bombing us". 

The relentless air and ground assault has killed more than 1,000 people in the past three weeks. 

"I'm just a schoolteacher here, I'm just a regular person living daily life and I'd like to send my message to the United States, to President [Donald] Trump that I wish he could put pressure on the Russian government to stop sending their warplanes here and bombing us, this has given them a big upper hand on the eastern Ghouta's people,"  Ms Lynn said. 

The mother-of-eight moved to Syria with her husband in 2000 to be nearer to his elderly parents. 

Since 18 February, when the government forces began their latest assault, Ms Lynn and her family have stayed mostly in their basement over fears of being killed by shelling or air strikes. 

"It's been horrifying especially since I have small children and grandchildren," she said.

"We've been taking shelter in basements. We go up and down stairs, the basement doesn't have good facilities, doesn't have a place to cook food, doesn't have a working bathroom, so we have to go upstairs to eat, to cook, we have to go upstairs to use the bathroom."

Syrian government forces are backed by Russian warplanes, although Russia denies targeting civilians. 

More than half of eastern Ghouta has been captured from rebels, but it is still  unsafe to venture outside for necessities like food.  

"Right now we're eating whatever is available," Ms Lynn said.

"We don't eat much bread, but we do have, I or my family, does have some stored food which we're eating.

"We're trying to make it last longer by making soup, so we put a small amount of rice or wheat in it to make it last longer."

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