Assaults kill 35 in Ghouta

BEIRUT – Accelerating bombardment by the government and its allies killed at least 35 people in the rebel-held eastern Ghouta region near Damascus in 24 hours, a war monitor said on Monday.

The death toll from air strikes, rocket fire and shelling on several areas of the besieged enclave of towns and farms included five children, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Rebel groups in eastern Ghouta fired mortars at areas of Damascus held by the government, killing a child and injuring eight other people, Syrian state media said.

Eastern Ghouta, the largest rebel bastion left near the capital, is home to about 400,000 people according to the United Nations and has been besieged since 2013.

The Observatory said the army and its allies were preparing a military offensive in eastern Ghouta.

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