Russian Military: Syrian Army Repels 3 Attacks on E Ghouta Humanitarian Corridor

Civilians stay put despite'truce in Syria's Ghouta

Civilians stay put despite'truce in Syria's Ghouta

U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura told reporters the world body would not give up seeking a full 30-day ceasefire, as mandated by the U.N. Security Council last Saturday.

The officer at Wafideen checkpoint warned that if Thursday was equally fruitless, the measure may be dropped, raising fears the kind of bombardment that killed dozens of civilians every day this month would resume.

The Syrian army and its allies launched ground assaults on the edge of eastern Ghouta on Thursday, backed by a bombardment the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said killed 11 people.

And, on February 26, Russian Federation said it would implement a five-hour ceasefire daily as well as evacuation corridors to allow the area's 400,000 residents to escape the bombing campaign. "It could be extended but why go on if there are no results", he said. "The civilian population in Syria, and in particular in Eastern Ghouta, has already suffered too much".

The area has been under a suffocating siege by government forces and a Russian bombing campaign since 2013, in an attempt to drain the armed opposition operating there.

In a letter sent to the United Nations on Tuesday, they said they were willing to expel the jihadist factions that also have a footprint in Eastern Ghouta.

"As is known - in any case, we in Russia know this well enough - some shells crash even on the territory of the Russian embassy and trade mission". Should we continue to tolerate this?

The area is a key target due to its proximity to Damascus, where the government of President Bashar al-Assad is based. "No, of course not", he said.

"When will your resolution be implemented?" he asked.

He made the comments shortly before Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, addressing the UN-sponsored disarmament conference in Geneva, asserted that Syria had eliminated its chemical-weapons stockpiles and placed them under global control. "We shall see in practice whether the pleas by the three illegal armed carry out the UNSC resolution correspond with their intentions", he said.

Lowcock said convoys are ready to go to 10 besieged and hard-to-reach locations including 45 trucks with aid for 90,000 people in Douma in eastern Ghouta. "In order to end the humanitarian catastrophe, all relevant parties should patiently hold consultations, shelve disputes, actively seek consensus and strive to fully implement the cease-fire resolution passed by the U.N. Security Council", the Chinese analysis read.

"This is cynical, callous and in flagrant defiance of the demands of [Resolution] 2401", said USA envoy Kelley Currie. The [Syrian] regime has not abided by the timings of the ceasefire.

Syrians walk down a destroyed street in Arbin in the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta on February 25, 2018. "More bombing. More fighting".

In other areas of Syria, the United Nations reported heavy ongoing fighting in Idlib, where the humanitarian response "is being stretched to its limits" as "fighting continues to kill and injure civilians, destroy civilian infrastructure, and result in large population movements".

At least 18 fighters from Jaish al-Islam, Eastern Ghouta's dominant anti-regime faction, were also killed, the Observatory's Abdel Rahman said.

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