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Pro-Assad forces recapture 10% of Eastern Ghouta - monitors

Pro-Assad forces recapture 10% of Eastern Ghouta - monitors
Pro-government forces in Syria have reportedly recaptured about 10% of the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta enclave, BBC reported on Sunday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, says fighting on the ground intensified there on Saturday. The Opposition responded by shelling nearby Damascus.

Some 393,000 people are trapped in the Eastern Ghouta, which has been besieged by the government since 2013.

Food and medical stocks are dwindling, and aid trucks are unable to get in.

Syria's military says it is trying to recapture the region, one of the last opposition strongholds, from those it terms terrorists. But it has also been accused of targeting civilians.

More than 640 people have been killed since 18 February, more than 150 of them children.

More than 100 civilians have died since the UN Security Council called for a 30-day ceasefire a week ago. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said the local population is living in "hell on earth".

A daily five-hour "humanitarian pause" ordered by Russia, the Syrian government's ally, has failed to stop the bloodshed.

Moscow has offered civilians in the Eastern Ghouta safe passage during the pauses, but the Syrian Observatory says none have departed since Tuesday.

Russia's military said in a statement that no civilians had used the prescribed exit route on Saturday.
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