Brief peace in Syrian opposition town shattered by renewed regime bombing

Brief peace in Syrian opposition town shattered by renewed regime bombing
A brief peace in a besieged Syrian region was broken Sunday, as regime bombers targeted the opposition Eastern Ghouta suburbs as fighting raged on the ground.
2 min read
28 January, 2018
Eastern Ghouta has been a routine target of regime artillery, bombs [file photo-AFP]
Syria's opposition-held region of Eastern Ghouta was targeted by bombers again Sunday, after a brief ceasefire covering the Damascus' suburb was broken following renewed fighting.

Clashes erupted shortly after the ceasefire was announced Friday with clashes breaking out between regime and rebel forces in the besieged opposition enclave, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

Mortar fire, artillery and bombings ruptured the brief peace in one of the most heavily fought over - and densely populated - areas of Syria.

Dozens of rockets and shells were fired into the opposition enclave, while bombers pounded Eastern Ghouta, the monitor said.

Syrian activists reported five dead from the bombing, including a child.

The ceasefire coincided with Russian-sponsored peace talks in Sochi, which is being boycotted by the Syrian opposition.
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The truce was never publicly recognised by the Syrian regime, Reuters said.

Hizballah, which is playing a lead role in supporting Bashar al-Assad, claimed in affiliated media that rebels broke the ceasefire by launching an assault on regime positions.

Syria's war has cost around 500,000 lives and left millions homeless. It began in 2011 when peaceful anti-government protests were brutally suppressed by regime forces, leading to a wider conflict.

Syrian regime backer Russia is leading a peace initiative with Turkey and Iran, which is widely seen as an attempt to sideline the UN-sponsored, Western-backed Geneva talks.

Eastern Ghouta has been targeted with frequent bombings, shellings, nerve and chlorine gas attacks by regime forces, along with a crippling siege on the rebel-held enclave.

Syria's regime and Russia have frequently broken UN-brokered ceasefires.