Publicado: Вс, Марта 11, 2018
Global | Por Milagro Delgado

Aid convoy delivers food in Syria's besieged Ghouta despite bombardment

Aid convoy delivers food in Syria's besieged Ghouta despite bombardment

09 de marzo de 2018, 16:37Damascus, Mar 9 (Prensa Latina) A convoy with humanitarian assistance, including 13 truckloads of food, entered the eastern Ghouta region of eastern Syria, where terrorist groups are preventing local residents from moving to safer areas.

Syrian state television broadcast from inside the town of Mesraba, a town along the road connecting the northern and southern halves of the rebel-held enclave, after reporting that the army had taken it earlier on Saturday.

People in Douma told him they feared crossing rebel checkpoints and were uncertain whether they would be safe when they reached government-held areas, Mr Malik said.

But since entering into force late last month, no major evacuation took place in Eastern Ghouta, with the Syrian government accusing the rebels of targeting the civilians who are attempting to leave.

Apart from Islamist groups such as Jaish al-Islam, jihadists from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), who are mostly linked to Al-Qaeda, are also deployed there.

In the face of the government's Russian-backed onslaught, Ghouta's main rebel groups had so far rejected Moscow-brokered offers to evacuate civilians or any of their own fighters.

Forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad have essentially split off Douma from the rest of eastern Ghouta, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a day after a Red Cross and United Nations aid convoy arrived in the town to unload food supplies to thousands of civilians in desperate need.

In a statement on Twitter on Friday, Jaish al-Islam, one of the main factions in eastern Ghouta, said the decision had been taken in consultation with the United Nations, a number of worldwide parties and civil society representatives from eastern Ghouta.

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Residents fleeing the government's advance in other towns had sought refuge in Douma.

But the government of President Bashar al-Assad has vowed to continue military operations, as it regards nearly all rebel groups as terrorists.

But U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein has said, in comments criticised by Syria's government, that the assault is "legally, and morally, unsustainable". But he added that shortages remain acute, causing great hardship. Another man said there were 15 families in the basement who have been hiding for days.

Government troops and allied militia have recaptured half of the besieged region in a blistering assault launched on February 18 that has prompted a global outcry. "So Ghouta will gain by finishing with these people".

In around two weeks, the Syrian army has retaken almost all the farmland in the enclave east of Damascus under cover of near-ceaseless shelling and air strikes, leaving only a dense sprawl of towns - about half the territory - still under insurgent control.

The government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media said troops captured the Kilani gas station on the main highway linking Douma with Harasta and those two areas with the rest of eastern Ghouta.

The bombardment and encirclement of Douma continued even as rebels in the enclave, which is home to at least 300,000 people, acceded to a key demand by Russian Federation: the evacuation of a few hundred al-Qaida-linked fighters in the enclave.

The Observatory reported heavy fighting on several fronts.

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