Smoke billows following a regime air strike on the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, late on February 23, 2018. / AFP / Ammar SULEIMAN
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New regime strikes hit the rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta on Sunday despite a U.N. Security Council demand for a ceasefire to end one of the most ferocious assaults of Syria's civil war.The main rebel groups in Eastern Ghouta, where more than 500 people have died since the bombing campaign was launched a week ago, welcomed the U.N. vote and said they would abide by a ceasefire.The bombing campaign on Eastern Ghouta, a rebel bastion on the eastern outskirts of Damascus, has been one of the heaviest of the seven-year civil war that has pitted President Bashar Assad's regime against a range of rebel groups.Eastern Ghouta, home to some 400,000 people, is surrounded by government-controlled territory and its residents are unwilling or unable to flee.Syria's former al-Qaeda affiliate is present in Eastern Ghouta and Assad's regime routinely describes all of its opponents as "terrorists".The rebels in Eastern Ghouta have also been firing into Damascus, where six civilians were wounded Saturday, state media said.
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