Eastern Ghouta: Syrian government forces clash with rebels.

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018, 5:02 pm

Hours into second attempt at implementing Russian truce, government shelling intensifies in towns near front lines.

Syrian government forces have clashed with rebels on the outskirts of Eastern Ghouta, despite a Russian-sponsored truce that is now in its second day, a war monitor reported.

Since Wednesday morning, during a second attempt at implementing a ceasefire in the besieged enclave, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad‘s forces have been locked in “fierce” fighting with rebels who have been in control of the area since 2013, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

The confrontation is part of a ground offensive launched by the government on Sunday. It has been fighting on multiple fronts in an attempt to penetrate the enclave.

The daily, five-hour “humanitarian pause” is meant to evacuate the injured out of the Damascus suburb and allow humanitarian convoys to deliver food and medicine to some 400,000 people trapped inside.

The first attempt to implement the truce on Tuesday was unsuccessful, as aerial bombardment and artillery fire killed at least four people and injured dozens more.