Nearly 30 civilians, including children, have been killed by airstrikes in the rebel stronghold of Eastern Ghouta, outside the capital, Damascus.
The Britain-based watchdog Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said most of the airstrikes were carried out by Russian jets. There was, however, no immediate confirmation by the Russian military, which is providing air support to government forces fighting rebels.
A government forces base, which is believed to hold some 250 soldiers, the only one in the region, was surrounded by rebels earlier this week. Syrian state television said “army units had launched an assault to break the siege.
Eastern Ghouta, home to 400,000 residents, has been cut off from food and medical aid since 2013.