United Nations to send another aid convoy to Syria

The Latest: Activists: 80 killed on Monday in Syria's Ghouta

The Latest: Activists: 80 killed on Monday in Syria's Ghouta

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 805 civilians - including at least 178 children - have been killed since Russia-backed regime forces launched an assault on the besieged enclave outside Damascus on February 18.

The grim conclusions, based on more than 500 interviews, coincided with reports of heavy civilian casualties in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta, where Syrian and Russian forces pushed on with a ferocious offensive aimed at crushing the last major rebel stronghold in the area.

Russian Federation has been a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, helping him turn the tide of the bloody civil war in his favor.

The Syrian government says extremists in the besieged area are keeping civilians inside as human shields, but rebel activists say those inside will not leave for fear of repercussions when they reach government-controlled areas.

Zolotukhin said anti-government fighters and their families are being allowed passage during certain hours in the daytime.

The investigators said an air strike by a Russian aircraft using unguided weapons hit a market killing at least 84 people in Atareb, west of Aleppo, in November 2017, while strikes by the USA -led coalition killed 150 residents of a school holding displaced people near Raqqa in March 2017.

Turkey controls a swath of territory revolving around the town of al-Rai, al-Bab and Jarablus - a border zone that Turkey and Turkey-backed rebels took from the Islamic State group in 2016.

She said that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is "highly focused" on the Eastern Ghouta situation in regular talks with counterparts.

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Moscow did not specify where the rebels would exit to, but the Russian defense ministry said it would set up a secure corridor through which fighters could leave along with their families and personal weapons.

At least 1,000 children have been killed and injured across Syria so far this year according to the United Nations, as it disclosed that more than one quarter of the trucks carrying food into besieged eastern Ghouta on Monday were forced to leave the enclave again without unloading.

The panel also rejected the United States-led coalition's account of multiple airstrikes last March on a school building in Raqqa Province, which investigators said killed at least 150 of the 200 civilians who were housed there after fleeing fighting elsewhere.

The United Nations says another attempt is planned for Thursday.

The Russian Defence Ministry said the An-26 twin-engine turboprop crashed Tuesday while preparing to land at the Hemeimeem air base in Syria, killing all 33 passengers and six crew on board. However, the situation in Damascus' suburb of Eastern Ghouta is still tense, as Damascus is being shelled by local militant with Damascus reporting opening fire in response to shelling from the region.

The investigators also spoke of allegations of chemical weapons use in the enclave, saying they had "reasonable grounds to believe that government forces used chemical weapons" in an attack on Harasta on November 18.

"What those three countries have done to those people is a disgrace", he says.

They have since recaptured more than 40 percent of the area with support from a devastating bombing campaign that has killed more than 800 civilians.

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