Thousands of Syrians flee as two major battles rage

Syrian state TV said the Syrian army had given rebels in the Harasta pocket of opposition-held eastern Ghouta till 3pm local time on Sunday to withdraw, citing its own correspondent.

The Syrian army and allied forces have recaptured 70 percent of the territory that had been under insurgent control in the enclave of eastern Ghouta, it said on Friday.

Backed by Russian Federation and Iran, government forces have thrust deep into eastern Ghouta on the capital's outskirts, splintering the rebel enclave into three separate zones.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says regime strikes killed over 30 civilians in eastern Ghouta's Zamalka town as people were preparing to flee the enclave.

The Syrian army units and the SARC personnel immediately provided the evacuated civilians with their needs in preparation to transporting them to temporary housing centers equipped with all necessary requirements.

The weekslong violence in eastern Ghouta has left about 1,400 civilians dead and more than 5,000 wounded.

The Observatory said about 50,000 had left the southern pocket in the past 72 hours and thousands left on Sunday.

The offensive has pushed thousands more to flee their homes into government-controlled areas.

"As long as rockets continue to fall on Eastern Ghouta and Damascus, as fighting continues in Afrin, as millions remain displaced, the ICRC is calling for ..."

"There is limited food, with reports of the usual ration of bread for one day being consumed over the period of a week to 10 days; insufficient sanitation and hygiene support for those living in basements, and increased risk of communicable disease", it said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights was not able to confirm whether who carried the strikes over the town which targeted civilians. Almost 1,260 civilians have been killed there, a fifth of them children, since the Syrian regime's bombardment of the rebel enclave began on February 18.

Russia's military also said early on Saturday that more than 11,000 people have left the enclave in the past few hours as regime forces step up the offensive.

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