Syria: 40 reported dead in regime airstrikes on besieged eastern Ghouta

Britons and Syrians share many opinions on what is most valuable for a good life

Douma is the last rebel-controlled town in Syrias Eastern Ghouta, a sprawling suburb of Damascus that was once the oppositions bastion on the edge of the capital.

The ministry has informed that about 7 people being killed and over 42 injured by Jaysh Al-Islam militants during the shelling of Damascus with 25 mortar shells and bombardment missiles.

Before the fighting resumed, helicopters earlier Friday dropped leaflets on Douma saying rebels should either leave to the northern town of Jarablus or hand over their weapons and receive amnesty with Russian and Syrian government guarantees that would include not drafting young men to the military service until after six to 10 months. The evacuations have been suspended since Thursday and state TV says Army of Islam members have refused to release scores of government supporters they have been holding for years.

In response, an evacuation agreement signed with the Jaysh al-Islam rebel group that contorls Douma has been put on hold.

A reporter for Lebanon's Al-Manar TV embedded with Syrian troops near Douma said government forces advanced toward Douma from the towns of Misraba and Madiara that were recently captured by troops.

"At least 40 civilians including 8 children have been killed in air strikes and rocket fire on Douma", it said.

Government forces launched a crushing offensive in February and March on eastern Ghouta capturing dozens of towns and villages forcing thousands of opposition fighters to surrender and evacuate the area toward Syria's north.

SANA blamed the suspension of the evacuation on the inner conflict among Islam Army rebels. It sliced the area into three isolated pockets each held by different rebel factions.

The first two were evacuated under Russian-brokered deals last month that saw more than 46,000 rebels and civilians moved to the northwestern province of Idlib, which the regime does not control. "We don't know where we're going, and rumours are flying in the town", said a resident reached by phone who gave his name as Mohammed.

Assad's forces and Jaish al-Islam began negotiations ten days ago.

It remains unclear exactly why the talks between Moscow and Jaish al-Islam have faltered.

There are tens of thousands of people estimated to be living in Douma, according to Reuters.

The army, however, resumed airstrikes on militant positions in Douma on Friday after the last remaining militants there violated an evacuation deal and shelled civilian areas near Damascus on Saturday.

As talks over the third and final pocket of Douma dragged on, Russian Federation and Syria's regime threatened Jaish al-Islam with a renewed military assault if they did not agree to withdraw. "Their only shared interests is the blood of civilians", he said.

Roughly 100,000 people live in Duma, a regime-besieged neighborhood of Eastern Ghouta that is approximately seven square kilometers in size.

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