Published: Thu, March 08, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

United Nations suspends aid delivery in Eastern Ghouta as violence intensifies

United Nations suspends aid delivery in Eastern Ghouta as violence intensifies

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said pro-Syrian government forces had managed to bring the strip of territory linking the north and south of what remains of rebel-held eastern Ghouta within firing range, effectively bisecting the densely populated region on the outskirts of Damascus.

She said that if you are only relying on such mainstream media report about Eastern Ghouta, "you're left with the impression that there's a one-sided conflict taking place between the Syrian government and its civilians".

The group said on Tuesday that ground units loyal to President Bashar al-Assad had taken control of more than 40 percent of the district.

Almost two weeks ago, after days of fitful negotiations, the UN Security Council passed a resolution that urged parties to Syria's conflict to allow humanitarian aid and medicine to reach almost half a million desperate civilians trapped in Eastern Ghouta, a Damascus suburb under siege by Syrian government forces.

The UN said air strikes and shelling in eastern Ghouta continued for hours while the convoy was unloading supplies.

Almost half of the food carried on the convoy could not be delivered and Syrian authorities removed some medical and health supplies from the trucks, the United Nations said.

Russian Federation and Syria have claimed that rebels are holding civilians captive in eastern Ghouta to serve as human shields, while rebel groups say civilians fear conscription or arrest if they enter regime territory.

"Russia conducted 20 bombing missions in Damascus and Eastern Ghouta the week of February 24".

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The Syrian government, through the SANA state news agency, denied using chemical weapons in its eastern Ghouta offensive.

There are almost 400,000 people trapped in the besieged suburbs with little access to food or medicine.

Over the years, and following several government-led bombardment campaigns in an attempt to drive out armed opposition groups, residents of the enclave have endured a humanitarian crisis that is now further deteriorating.

It came as it emerged that children inside eastern Ghouta are surviving on a single meal a day of boiled wheat mixed with sugar.

The first shipment of humanitarian aid reached eastern Ghouta on Monday but was cut short on Tuesday after Syrian government forces began shelling the area again.

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

It comes amid a crushing Syrian government military offensive on eastern Ghouta, home to about 400,000 people. "The people sit with multiple families, with thousands of families in basement shelters", he said.

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