Pro-government forces in Syria have reportedly recaptured about 10% of the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta enclave, the BBC reported.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, says fighting on the ground intensified there on Saturday. Rebels responded by shelling nearby Damascus, according to the BBC.
Some 393,000 people are trapped in the Eastern Ghouta, which has been besieged by the government since 2013.
Food and medical stocks are dwindling, and aid trucks are unable to get in.
Syria’s military says it is trying to liberate the region, one of the last rebel strongholds, from those it terms terrorists. But it has also been accused of targeting civilians, according to the BBC.
More than 640 people have been killed since 18 February, more than 150 of them children, AFP news agency reports.
More than 100 civilians have died since the UN Security Council called for a 30-day ceasefire a week ago. UN Secretary General António Guterres has said the local population is living in “hell on earth”.