Eastern Ghouta under fierce bombardment in new regime assault
Syria's regime opened up a horrifying new assault on a major Eastern Ghouta town Wednesday, with troops entering Hamuriyyeh as intense shelling trapped thousands of civilians.
Activists said Hamuriyyeh was hit with air raids and chlorine gas attacks with families having no option but to seek shelter underground.
Aircraft have targeted civilians attempting to flee the town with the fate of others unknown.
One activist relayed a message from a civilian inside the town via social media, about the desperate situation they face as regime troops move into Hamuriyyeh.
"Most of the people have left the town, about 5,000 people still stuck. Dozens of families tried to flee under heavy shelling [and] with the advance of the regime military, we don't know what happened to them," the message read, from a resident stuck in an underground shelter.
The resident said reconnaissance aircraft were flying overhead, as well as warplanes targeting anything that moved. Communications to and from the town have since been cut, activists reported.
Hammuriyeh - which is manned by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) affiliated Faylaq al-Rahman rebel group - has suffered days of heavy bombardment.
Graphic images and stories have come out of the besieged town, with fears that a massacre is imminent as regime troops enter Hammuriyeh from the east.
Eastern Ghouta has come under a ferocious assault by regime and Russian aircraft for nearly a month, killing at least 1,220 civilians.
The UN has condemned the assault as an orchestrated apocalypse, but unable to act due to veto-wielding, regime ally Russia.