The regime forces targeted a number of opposition-held areas, including besieged Damascus suburb eastern Ghouta with air strikes and artillery fire, killing several civilians, a war monitor and a civil defence agency said on Sunday.

Smoke rises after Assad regime carried out an air strike to Arbin town of eastern Ghouta in Damascus, Syria on February 24, 2018.
Smoke rises after Assad regime carried out an air strike to Arbin town of eastern Ghouta in Damascus, Syria on February 24, 2018. (AA)

Syria's regime carried out new strikes on Sunday on the opposition areas, a monitor and a civil defence agency said, despite a UN Security Council demand for a ceasefire "without delay".

The strikes on Sunday morning included two on the outskirts of Duma, the main town in Eastern Ghouta, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

At least two people were killed in Saqba town, one man in Otaya town and one woman was killed when regime forces shelled the town of Hammuriya in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta, said the White Helmets civil defence agency.

TRT World sources report a child succumbed to injuries sustained from a suspected chlorine attack in the town of al Shefoniyya in eastern Ghouta. Activists and Syria Civil Defence say the attack was carried out by the Syrian regime and hospitalised at least 16 civilians along with White Helmet volunteers.

Regime forces also mounted air and artillery attacks in the towns Harasta, Sifoniye, Kafr Batna, Bayt Sava and Al Marj, the agency added.

Residential areas in the city of Jisr al Shughur in the northwestern Idlib province were also reported to have come under heavy shelling by the regime forces.

Regime warplanes also struck the town of Kafr Zita in the central Hama province, the White Helmets sources said. 

TRT World's Hasan Abdullah reports the latest from the Turkish city of Kilis, near the Syrian border.

Heavy clashes in eastern Ghouta

Regime air strikes and artillery have been pounding eastern Ghouta, the enclave near Damascus since February 18, with at least 519 dead since the bombing campaign was launched, according to the Observatory. 

The Security Council on Saturday unanimously demanded a 30-day ceasefire to allow for humanitarian aid deliveries and medical evacuations. The measure did not specify when the truce would go into force beyond saying it should be "without delay".

Rocket and artillery fire also hit at least three parts of eastern Ghouta, including Duma, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said. 

Activists in the city also said a new ground offensive has been launched by the Syrian regime near eastern Ghouta.

Syrian regime forces were engaged in heavy fighting with opposition groups in southern areas of the enclave of eastern Ghouta on Sunday, the Observatory said.

The clashes on the edges of eastern Ghouta killed at least 13 members of pro-regime forces and six fighters from the Jaish al Islam opposition group, it added.

Iran and Syria to continue to attack

Meanwhile, an Iranian military chief of staff said on Sunday that Iran and Syrian regime will continue attacks on Damascus suburbs, but elsewhere respect a UN resolution demanding a 30-day truce across Syria to allow aid access and medical evacuation

"We will adhere to the ceasefire resolution, Syria will also adhere. Parts of the suburbs of Damascus, which are held by the terrorists, are not covered by the ceasefire and clean-up operations will continue there," the semi-official news agency Tasnim quoted General Mohammad Baqeri as saying.

Opposition enclave in the capital

The eastern Ghouta suburb has been under siege for the last five years and humanitarian access to the area, which is home to 400,000 people, has been completely cut off.

In the past eight months, forces of the Assad regime have intensified their siege, making it nearly impossible for food or medicine to get into the district, leaving thousands of patients in need of treatment

The main opposition groups in the city rejected any deal that would see them or other residents relocated.

The area is completely surrounded by regime-controlled territory and residents are unwilling or unable to flee the deadly siege.

Syrian regime and its allies Russia and Iran have attacked civilians many times under the pretext of fighting terror groups of Daesh and Al Qaeda linked groups in Syria.

The war-torn country has been locked in a devastating conflict since early 2011 when the regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity. 

According to UN officials, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict to date.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies