Syria's army slices Eastern Ghouta in two
9 March, 2018Syria's army is poised to slice rebel-held Eastern Ghouta in two as forces advancing from the east link up with troops at its western edge, a pro-Damascus commander said last Thursday. The Syria's government, backed in the war by Russia and Iran, is seeking to crush the enclave in a ferocious campaign that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says has killed 898 civilians in the last 18 days, including 91 last Wednesday. Rebels, who accuse the government of “scorched earth” tactics, said they were deploying more guerrilla-style ambushes in lost territory, trying to stop further advances. Defeat in Eastern Ghouta would mark the worst setback for rebels since the opposition was driven from eastern Aleppo in late 2016 after a similar campaign of siege, bombing and ground assaults.The UN says 400,000 people are trapped in the towns and villages of the enclave. The Security Council called on Wednesday for the implementation of its resolution from 24 February, demanding a 30-day ceasefire across Syria and voiced concern about the country's humanitarian plight.