Eastern Ghouta: Syrian regime forces break into key town

Syrian regime forces have broken into a key town in the beleaguered rebel enclave of eastern Ghouta amid heavy bombardment, a monitor has said.

“Regime forces assaulted Hamouriyah,” the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said on Wednesday, adding that the troops were able to control areas in the south of the enclave.

Russia-backed regime forces launched an assault on eastern Ghouta in February to retake the last opposition bastion outside Damascus.

The offensive has split the enclave into three sections, each controlled by different rebels.

The area around Hamouriyah is controlled by the Faylaq al-Rahman faction.

It has come under intense bombardment in recent days, according to an AFP correspondent in the area.

On Wednesday, the correspondent saw a man in the doorway of a building holding the bodies of his two dead children.

A doctor in the area said rescue teams could not get to victims because of the intensity of the bombardment.

“The wounded are on the roads. We can’t move them. The war planes are targeting anything that moves,” Ismail al-Khateeb said. “We don’t know what happened to the families that fled under the bombardment.”

More than 1,220 civilians have been killed in eastern Ghouta since 18 February.

The Russian defence ministry said on Wednesday a humanitarian ceasefire in Douma in eastern Ghouta was extended for two more days, Interfax news agency reported. Children and people needing hospital treatment were being evacuated from the area.


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