Second aid convoy to Syria's eastern Ghouta postponed as violence escalates

11 March, 2018, 01:32 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Syrian forces attacking eastern Ghouta 'have surrounded rebels in Douma'

They've only been able to get a fraction of much needed food and medical supplies into the area where an estimated 400,000 people are trapped.

The cease-fire endorsed more than a week ago by the United Nations Security Council - but not yet implemented - does not cover H.T.S., a coalition of rebel forces led by the Nusra Front, a group that was formed as Al Qaeda's Syria affiliate and is listed internationally as a terrorist group. According to the report, the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad is responsible for the use of sarin in the Khan Sheikhoun incident, while Daesh* is responsible for the use of sulfur mustard in Umm Hawsh. "So Ghouta will gain by finishing with these people". It is hard for aid convoys to reach eastern Ghouta and the worldwide community is failing to intervene.

The renewed artillery fire came as representatives of Damascus and businessmen pressed negotiations on a solution that would allow civilians or fighters to leave the enclave, the Observatory said.

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Shelling and air strikes slammed into Douma throughout the day Saturday, trapping residents inside cellars transformed into makeshift bomb shelters, an AFP correspondent in the town said.

A convoy was unable to finish unloading on Monday because of continued fighting, bringing in the remaining undelivered food parcels on Friday despite bombardment nearby.

Jaish al-Islam and Faylaq al-Rahman, two Islamist rebel groups, control most of the opposition-held areas of eastern Ghouta.

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Residents say they fear government retribution if they were to try and flee the area, or the possibility of being redrafted into the Syrian military and sent to fight on the frontline.

"After the opening of an additional checkpoint in the direction of Jisrein-Mlekha area, the Syrian side has registered increased number of clashes between the civilians and the militants who are blocking the exits from the area", Zolotukhin told reporters.

A negotiator from Hammuriyeh said a "civilian delegation" wanted to hold talks with the government to end the fighting in the area.

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Saturday, Ankara-backed rebels advanced against Kurdish militia in northwest Syria, coming to within two kilometres (just over one mile) of the flashpoint town of Afrin, the Observatory said.

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