Syrian truce collapses; offensive on rebel areas outside Damascus kills dozens

Remnants of improvised ground-launched rockets with suspected chlorine-filled heads

The Syrian army and allies have intensified shelling and air raids on the town of Douma making advances against militants in their last stronghold in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta.

The attack killed at least 32 people and wounded dozens more, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group.Residents said the strikes had targeted civilian areas and left body parts strewn through the streets."Medical and emergency points are crowded with the wounded".

The regime has used a combination of a fierce military onslaught and two negotiated withdrawals to empty out 95 percent of the enclave, but rebels are still entrenched in its largest town of Douma.

Speaking on Friday, Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the United Nations, said the renewed outbreak of fighting in Douma "is of great concern to us".

"The bombing still hasn't stopped. There are three warplanes in the sky and two helicopters", Firas al-Doumi, a rescue worker inside Douma, told AFP this morning.

At least eight civilians were killed in Saturday's bombardment of Douma, bringing to 48 the number of civilians who have been killed in the town since Friday, the Britain-based watchdog added.

The retaking of Jap Ghouta would mark a critical milestone in President Bashar al-Assad's efforts to regain administration of territory seized by rebel factions all through Syria's seven-year civil wrestle.

A view of Syrian Arab Red Crescent, a humanitarian non-profit organisation, personnel delivering aid in Eastern Ghouta, Syria.

As talks over the third and final pocket of Douma dragged on, Russian Federation and Syria's regime threatened Jaish al-Islam with a renewed military assault if they did not agree to withdraw.

Syrian government forces resumed their offensive on rebel-held Douma on Friday afternoon after a 10-day truce collapsed over disagreement regarding evacuation of opposition fighters. Another said she had been riding in a taxi when the shelling started, and the auto crashed head-on into a wall.

As talks over the third and final pocket of Douma dragged on, Russian Federation and Syria's regime threatened Jaish al-Islam with a renewed military assault if they did not agree to withdraw.

Jaish al-Islam said its rocket and artillery brigade were responding to what it described as a massacre by "the Assad militias and their ally the Russian warplanes".

The military stressed they will continue to retaliate with precision strikes until Jaish al-Islam stops shelling on residential neighborhoods in Damascus and its surroundings, and till an agreement is reached so the militants release all the abductees and accept to leave Douma.

"The talks were going well". "We do not want to close a door that could lead to sparing the blood of civilians", he said in an interview with al-Hadath TV.

"The regime is trying to tighten the noose around Douma from the west, east, and south", said Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman.

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