Syrians walk past a destroyed mosque in the rebel-held town of Hamouria, in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, on March 9, 2018. (AFP / ABDULMONAM EASSA)
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The Syrian army continued its offensive against rebel-held Eastern Ghouta Saturday, a day after an aid convoy delivered food to the hunger-stricken residents of the enclave despite heavy bombardment.Nearly 950 civilians have been killed since Russia-backed government forces launched a blistering assault on the last opposition bastion near Damascus on February 18 .Eastern Ghouta's 400,000 inhabitants have lived under government siege since 2013 and the enclave -- more than half of which has over the past three weeks been retaken by regime forces -- is home to a myriad of armed groups.Thirteen trucks loaded with 2,400 food parcels, meanwhile, crossed into Eastern Ghouta, the International Committee of the Red Cross said, entering what UN chief Antonio Guterres has called "hell on earth".In the face of the regime's Russian-backed onslaught, Ghouta's main rebel groups had so far rejected Moscow-brokered offers to evacuate civilians or any of their own fighters.Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said talks were underway between regime representatives and local figures to organise the evacuation of civilians or fighters from parts of the enclave.
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