Air strikes pound Syria's last rebel strongholds, gas chokes civilians

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Meanwhile, Turkish operations against Syrian Kurdish forces and US and Russian-backed operations against the Islamic State group have compounded the suffering of Syrians in the country's north and east.

There has been a heated exchange between the USA and Russian Federation at the United Nations over the reported use of chemical weapons by Assad's regime.

The measure would "enable the delivery of humanitarian aid and services, evacuation of the critically sick and wounded, and alleviation of people's suffering, to the extent possible, wherever they are", the United Nations said.

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"If the United States says it is sending 5,000 trucks and 2,000 cargo planes of weapons for the fight against Daesh (Islamic State), we don't believe this", Erdogan said.

The region has been under intense attack since the end of December as the government of President Bashar Assad struggles to bring it under control.

On Monday, dozens of air strikes and artillery fire battered Eastern Ghouta, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. But they stepped up their attacks on the province over the weekend after al-Qaeda-linked jihadists shot down a Russian Su-25 warplane, in an incident in which the pilot was killed.

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The Syrian state news agency SANA said three people were killed in the government-controlled Old City in Damascus when rebels launched a series of missiles.

Activists say the campaign in Ghouta escalated after rebels there refused to join peace talks hosted by Russian Federation last month. Though Assad appears to have survived the insurgency, his forces continue to bomb and besiege opposition pockets around the country, including in Eastern Ghouta and Idlib.

That deployment is separate from a Turkish military offensive that Ankara launched last month to rout USA -backed Syrian Kurdish fighters from the northern enclave of Afrin.

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"As part of agreements on de-escalation zones reached in Astana, Turkish troops have started to construct the fourth observation point in Idlib", the statement said. Turkey's armed forces in a statementon tuesday said the Turkish forces were setting up a military post when the rocket and mortar attack by some militants occurred.