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

11 March, 2018, 01:32 | Author: Kim Reid
  • A Syrian soldier loyal to President Bashar al Assad is seen outside eastern Ghouta in Damascus Syria

Jaish al-Islam is one of the main insurgent factions in eastern Ghouta.

More than 940 civilians have been killed since Russia-backed government forces launched an assault on the last opposition bastion near Damascus on February 18.

The two largest groups are Jaish al-Islam and its rival Faylaq al-Rahman.

The Syrian government does not cooperate with the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) believing that the body is propagating the anti-Syrian policy of western countries, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said.

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Late on Friday, a small number of fighters and their families from the former al Qaeda affiliate previously known as the Nusra Front left eastern Ghouta under such a deal. ICRC spokeswoman Indy Sedky said the trucks crossed into eastern Ghouta yesterday "after getting security guarantees from all parties to make sure no incident will happen during the presence of our team" there.

Thirteen trucks loaded with 2,400 food parcels, meanwhile, crossed into Eastern Ghouta, the International Committee of the Red Cross said, entering what United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has called "hell on earth".

HTS is the main force in Idlib, in Syria's northwest and the last province outside government control.

Doctors and nurses in the beleaguered enclave have run out of several life-saving items and a massive medical re-supply is critically urgent, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said Friday.

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Within the last eight months, the regime has stepped up the siege, preventing food and medicine from entering the district, leaving thousands of residents in need of medical treatment.

The military gains have caused wide-scale internal displacement as civilians flee government advances toward areas in the territory still held by the rebels. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi spoke about the situation and suffering in the region while in Beirut on Friday.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces have besieged Eastern Ghouta since 2013.

"We have no guarantees that the regime will protect the families that want to leave and that it won't send the men to the frontlines", he added.

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Turkey-led rebels have been pressing an assault on the Kurdish enclave of Afrin since January 20.



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