Violence halts rare aid delivery to Syria's Ghouta

07 March, 2018, 00:10 | Author: Jason Torres
  • The Latest: Activists: 80 killed on Monday in Syria's Ghouta

Fresh air strikes and clashes shook the Syrian rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta on Tuesday after desperately needed aid deliveries were cut short by fighting.

An UNHCR aid convoy drives through the besieged town of Douma, Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, Syria March 5, 2018.

Iyad Abdelaziz, a member of the Douma Local Council, said nine aid trucks had to leave the area after regime shelling and airstrikes intensified in the evening.

"The items (removed) included trauma kits and other life-saving supplies", Linda Tom told AFP, calling for a solution ahead of a planned Thursday aid delivery. It accused the government of using "poison gas".

Late Monday, the Observatory reported 18 people suffered breathing difficulties following a strike by a military aircraft in Hammuriyeh, without being able to specify the cause of the illnesses.

"The use of chemical weapons is prohibited under customary global humanitarian law regardless of the presence of a valid military target, including when used against enemy fighters", it said.

"The Russian center for reconciliation will guarantee security for all militants who will decide to leave Ghouta with weapons and their families", said Yevtushenko, meanwhile urging all "leaders of armed groups of eastern Ghouta to guarantee the safe passage of civilians and allow the distribution of humanitarian aid".

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Washington also condemned "the military attack, which the Assad regime supported by Russian Federation and Iran is conducting against the people in Eastern ghouta" and accused the authorities of Syria and Russian Federation of "killing innocent civilians".

But no Syrian civilians are known to have left since Tuesday last week. The U.N.'s humanitarian office said the convoy carried food for 27,500 people.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has confirmed that it was forced to interrupt the distribution of humanitarian aid on Monday to the population of Syria's eastern Ghouta due to government raids.

The U.N. investigators called on Russian Federation and the probe their actions, which they claim violated worldwide law. It would hand Eastern Ghouta back to Assad and let rebels with their families and weapons.

Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said on Tuesday that the camps would be built in a zone controlled by Turkish-backed forces, as well as in Idlib province where Turkish forces are trying establishing a "de-escalation zone" under an agreement reached between Turkey, Russia and Iran.

Turkey controls a swath of territory revolving around the town of al-Rai, al-Bab and Jarablus - a border zone that Turkey and Turkey-backed rebels took from the Islamic State group in 2016.


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