Food trickles in to Syria's battered Eastern Ghouta

A wounded Syrian man is brought into a clinic in Syria's Eastern Ghouta

A wounded Syrian man is brought into a clinic in Syria's Eastern Ghouta

Civilians are not safe anywhere in eastern Ghouta, and aid workers who entered briefly on Monday said some residents had not seen sunlight for two weeks because they were sheltering underground. President Bashar al-Assad vowed last week that Syrian forces would continue the campaign until the whole area is retaken.

"If I thought about leaving Ghouta I would worry about the regime because there are no guarantees: and, second, I would worry about Jaish al-Islam, because they won't let us leave", said one activist in Douma.

Air strikes hit the areas of Jisreen and Harasta after stopping briefly in the early morning, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said. "So Ghouta will gain by finishing with these people".

Almost 950 civilians have been killed since Russia-backed government forces launched a blistering assault on the last opposition bastion near Damascus on 18 February.

Thirteen trucks loaded with 2,400 food parcels, meanwhile, crossed into Eastern Ghouta, the International Committee of the Red Cross said, entering what United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has called "hell on earth".

The government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media said troops reached the centre of the town of Misraba, adding that opposition fighters are crumbling amid the offensive.

A Syrian man rides his bike amidst the destruction in the rebel-held town of Hamouria in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus

Since then they have reportedly taken control of half of the region, in an advance that is thought to have left more than 900 civilians dead.

Besieged by government forces since 2013, Ghouta is the last remaining rebel-held area near the capital.

Almost 950 civilians have been killed since Russia-backed government forces launched a blistering assault on the last opposition bastion near Damascus on Feb 18.

Syria's war, which enters its eight-year next week, has killed more than 340,000 people since it erupted in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests. Any solution to the crisis will probably involve a partial evacuation of rebel fighters and perhaps civilians, in a deal similar to past surrender agreements between the government and rebels.

In January, Turkey began an offensive to oust the Kurdish YPG militia from the Afrin region in northern Syria, near the Turkish border.

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