housands of civilians are fleeing a town in the besieged rebel-held Eastern Ghouta region outside Syria’s capital, Damascus, as government forces advance.
State television showed pictures of men, women and children carrying bags leaving the town of Hamouria, which has come under intense bombardment.
It is the biggest exodus from the enclave since the military stepped up an offensive to retake it last month.
At the same time, 25 lorries carrying food aid entered the town of Douma.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said the aid was just a fraction of what was needed in the Eastern Ghouta, where some 390,000 people are facing severe shortages of food and medical supplies.
The developments came as Syria’s civil war, which ICRC president Peter Maurer said had “extracted an immensely painful human toll”, entered its eighth year.
The conflict has left more than 350,000 people dead, 1.5 million others with permanent disabilities, and displaced 11 million both inside Syria and abroad.