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There have been many goodbyes in Eastern Ghouta – more than 600 in the past two weeks.Thousands have been huddling in basements and underground shelters across the sprawling Eastern Ghouta region, hiding from the horror raining down from Syrian army jets that almost never leave the skies.A number of residents living under the assault described damp, mostly unhygienic conditions in basements and tunnels where dozens or sometimes even hundreds in a single shelter spend hours and often days on end, in constant fear that the blasts outside could crush their refuge. Rebels in Eastern Ghouta have survived years of siege but now are succumbing to a tried and tested military tactic of siege compounded with overwhelming bombardment.Known for its green fields and vegetable gardens that fed the capital and its residents, the once fertile Eastern Ghouta is now a hell on earth.The U.N. said 15,000 people have reportedly been driven from their homes in January, the majority staying in shelters and basements around Ghouta.Neemat Mohsen, who heads the local women's office in Saqba, another town in Eastern Ghouta, said in some shelters 350 or more people live with no running water and no electricity.
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