Syrian airstrikes kill at least 30 civilians

At least 30 people have been killed as they tried to leave the besieged enclave of Eastern Ghouta in air strikes carried out by the Syrian government and Russian jets, a war monitor says.

Dozens of people were wounded in the air strikes on the town of Zamalka, the Syrian Observatory for Human rights said after Saturday's strikes.

The Britain-based watchdog added that about 10,000 people, including hundreds of women and children, had left the enclave via Hamouriya crossing on Saturday morning.

This brings the number of those who have fled the rebel-held territory, located on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, to government-held areas to 40,000 people since Friday, according to the monitor.

The warplanes reportedly carried out more than 20 raids on areas in the town of Harasta.

At least 1393 people, including 271 children and 173 women, have reportedly been killed in Eastern Ghouta since forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad started their onslaught on February 18.

Eastern Ghouta is one of the few remaining areas in Syria under rebel control. But the rebels have been losing ground since the government began its latest offensive.

Rebels have repeatedly fired shells from Eastern Ghouta at government-controlled areas in and around Damascus.

Should the government recapture Eastern Ghouta, it would deal the hardest blow to the rebels since December 2016, when al-Assad regained full control of the northern city of Aleppo following a Russian-backed offensive.

Reuters