>> War planes pound the last rebel enclave near Damascus for the fifth day running. As the UN pleads for a truce to prevent quote, a massacre in Eastern Ghouta. More than 300 people have been killed since Sunday and many hundreds wounded. It's one of the fiercest air assaults in Syria's seven year Civil War.
Reuters Angus McDowell is following from Beirut.>> It's not clear yet why the ferocity of this attack has been so intense. We were hearing in the days beforehand that there would be some kind of ground defense. I mean that's something that we still hear but it's not been confirmed by anybody.
>> Some 400,000 people have been under siege in Eastern Ghouta for five years. Fears about the hunger and disease that stalk them have intensified this week. UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said Thursday he hoped the security council would call for a cease fire. But Russia sits of the council and backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
It says it won't support a truce that includes hardcore Islamist Militants that it calls terrorists.>> What the government wants to do is to force the rebels there to surrender and either leave for another insurgence held area as they've done in some cases or simply to accept government rule.
>> Moscow and Damascus say the assault is necessary to defeat fighters who've been firing mortars at the capital. But there are air strikes have hit residential areas, markets, and medical charities say, hospitals, making it near impossible to treat the wounded.