Amid ongoing strikes by Syrian forces, rebels in Ghouta fire back

Rebels in Ghouta fight back

DAMASCUS -- In Syria, a five-hour truce ordered by Russia, the chief ally of the Assad regime, took effect Tuesday in the rebel-held eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus. But no supplies got the battered towns and villages of Ghouta, and no wounded were evacuated.

The rebels in eastern Ghouta, which Syrian forces have been brutally bombing for the past 10 days, have fired back with mortars, their main weapon. We walked along a street marked by shrapnel with Safran Hamdeh, who told us mortars hit a mosque, a school and his house in Damascus, Syria's capital city. Just walking through the neighborhoods, you can see where mortars have fallen. One tore through the second floor of Hamdeh's home.

"They hit my home and made my wife and family afraid," he said. "Those people are terrorists."

On Tuesday, there was a brief lull in the fighting, supposedly to let humanitarian aid into eastern Ghouta and trapped residents -- estimated to number about 400,000 -- out. 

The hospital on the government side was quieter. Medical Director Nihad Assaf introduced us to one patient who was injured in a mortar attack. The doctor translated for us, saying, "In one moment, they were a family -- father and mother and son. Now their son is dead."

Elias Khouli, his son, was just 4 years old. We told the doctor that we can see the emotion in his eyes when he's translating.

"I think that this war is very bad for all the Syrians, not only for us," Assaf said.

There is pain among the civilians caught on the government and the rebel sides of this conflict. We can hear explosions in the distance picking up again.