BEIRUT – Heavy air strikes were reported to have hit rebel-held areas to the east of Damascus as fighting continued across much of western Syria on Friday, hours before a US-Russian plan aimed at halting the fighting is due to take effect.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring organization reported at least 10 air raids and artillery shelling targeting the town
of Douma in rebel-held Eastern Ghouta near Damascus. Rescue workers in the opposition-held area, reporting on their Twitter feed, said there were confirmed civilian casualties but did not say how many. Syrian military officials could not immediately be reached for comment. The Observatory also reported artillery bombardment by government forces and air strikes overnight in Hama province, and artillery bombardment by government forces in Homs province. Fighting also resumed at dawn between rebels and government forces in the northwestern province of Latakia, where the Syrian army and its allies are trying to take back more territory from insurgents at the border with Turkey.