Deadly air strikes hit the Syrian rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta for a seventh straight day on Saturday after the United Nations again delayed a vote on a ceasefire.

The Damascus government launched a devastating bombardment of the area just outside the capital last Sunday that has now killed nearly 500 civilians including more than 100 children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Britain-based monitor of the war said at least 21 civilians were killed in fresh strikes on Eastern Ghouta on Saturday, including 12 in the main town of Douma.

It has said the strikes are being carried out by Syrian and Russian forces. Moscow, which intervened militarily in support of its Damascus ally in 2015, has denied any direct involvement in the Eastern Ghouta bombardment.

US President Donald Trump on Friday said Russia’s recent actions in Syria were a “disgrace”.

Friday’s civilian death toll in the enclave — under siege by the Syrian army since 2013 — totalled 41, including 17 children, according to the Observatory.

The UN Security Council had been due to hold a vote on Friday on a resolution calling for a month-long ceasefire to allow aid deliveries and the evacuation of seriously wounded civilians.

But the vote was postponed until 1700 GMT on Saturday as Western powers bickered with Russia over the wording.

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