Western powers turned up the heat on Damascus as tens of thousands of civilians in Syria’s battered rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta awaited desperately needed aid.

More than 600 civilians have been killed in the enclave outside Damascus since Russia-backed regime forces launched an assault on February 18.

Eastern Ghouta’s 400,000 residents have lived under regime siege since 2013, facing severe food and medicine shortages even before the latest offensive.

As dozens of aid trucks remained unable to enter the enclave, the UN human rights council postponed voting on a British resolution condemning the crisis in Eastern Ghouta, after member states failed to agree on a final text.

Violence has been tempered in the enclave since Russia on Tuesday began daily pauses in fighting but air strikes continue to claim lives and a total ceasefire across Syria demanded by the un has not come into effect.

The recent onslaught has shocked the international community and left medical staff in Eastern Ghouta struggling to cope.

The United States, Germany and France upped the pressure on Damascus as last weekend’s UN Security Council vote for a ceasefire has failed to stop fighting.

US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed in a phone call that the Syrian regime must be held accountable.