Rebel-held Eastern Ghouta reaches a breaking point as the regime bombardment intensifies and medical supplies run short.
Despite a de-escalation zone agreement brokered by Turkey, Russia and Iran, Bashar al Assad's regime forces continue to target the besieged Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta.
According to a war monitor, the Assad regime has upped the pressure on two of the last opposition bastions in Syria this week, pounding the Eastern Ghouta enclave near Damascus and the northern province of Idlib.
Trapped in Syria's besieged Eastern Ghouta, both Anas and Mahrous were younger than 20 years of age when they started running to air strike-hit areas to document war atrocities and to take care of their families.
The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) said four patients have been taken to hospitals in Damascus, the first of 29 critical cases approved for medical evacuation, and that the remainder would be evacuated over the coming days.
Syrian regime forces have besieged the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta region since 2013, restricting access to food and medicines for some 400,000 residents.
The children, aged between seven months to 17 years, require immediate evacuation for conditions that include kidney failure, severe malnutrition and conflict wounds, the United Nations children's agency says.
The UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said the regime and opposition would have a chance to negotiate directly for the first time.
Russia, Turkey, and Iran agreed earlier this year to establish de-escalation zones aimed at reducing hostilities in four battleground areas across Syria, but after months of relative calm, intense regime attacks hit the region in the past week.
UN humanitarian adviser Jan Egeland says the conflict in Syria is returning to its "bleakest days" as the people trapped in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta face mass starvation.
In May, a deal determining four de-escalation zones brokered by Russia, Iran and Turkey to reduce violence in Syria was agreed. But in one of those areas, Idlib, the agreement could not be implemented.
The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights says it is the regime's heaviest bombardment on the area since a failed truce came into effect on July 22.
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