Syrian government gains ground on second day of Russian truce: monitor


BEIRUT:Syrian government forces and allied militias gained ground on Wednesday in clashes with rebels in eastern Ghouta near Damascus as fighting raged despite a Russian ceasefire plan, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

The government forces advanced in the Hawsh al-Dawahira area on the eastern edge of the opposition’s besieged stronghold, the Observatory reported. The Syrian army and rebel sources could not immediately be reached for comment on the report.

The Russian plan is for daily, five-hour ceasefires in eastern Ghouta from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (0700 GMT to 1200 GMT). But after a brief lull, the agreement collapsed into renewed bombardment on Tuesday, the first day of the plan.

Eastern Ghouta , where the United Nations says around 400,000 people live, is a major target for President Bashar al-Assad, who has recovered numerous areas from rebels with Russian and Iranian military backing.(Reuters)

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