BEIRUT: Hundreds of people are fleeing advances by Syrian government forces in eastern Ghouta, a war monitor and a resident said on Sunday, as Damascus presses an offensive to crush the last major rebel stronghold near the capital. Government forces are thrusting into the besieged rebel enclave from its eastern edge in an apparent bid to split it in two - a pattern of attack used repeatedly by Damascus and its allies in the war entering its eighth year. Orient TV, which supports the opposition to President Bashar al-Assad, said advances by pro-Assad forces had triggered large-scale displacement. People were seeking shelter in areas closer to the center of the eastern Ghouta, said the resident, who estimated thousands were on the move.