Syria regime, allies cut besieged Eastern Ghouta in two

Syria regime, allies cut besieged Eastern Ghouta in two
Date: 10.3.2018 14:30

With Russian air support, regime forces carve kilometer-long corridor through embattled district.

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The Assad regime and its allies on Friday divided Syria’s Eastern Ghouta district in two after carving a kilometer-long corridor -- from Misraba to Haresta -- through the district, an Anadolu Agency correspondent has reported.
On March 3, regime forces -- with Russian air support -- launched a major ground offensive in Eastern Ghouta.
The assault came despite a UN Security Council resolution adopted late last month calling for a 30-day cease-fire in Syria.
Opposition forces in Eastern Ghouta have responded to the escalation by striking regime forces using hit-and-run tactics.
On Feb. 24, the UNSC unanimously adopted Resolution 2401, which calls for a month-long cease-fire in Syria -- especially Eastern Ghouta -- to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians trapped in conflict zones.
Three days later, Russia announced its own cease-fire initiative calling for daily, five-hour “humanitarian pauses” in Eastern Ghouta.
A suburb of Damascus, Eastern Ghouta -- home to some 400,000 people -- has remained the target of a crippling regime siege for the last five years that has rendered the delivery of humanitarian aid almost impossible.
Over the past eight months, the regime has stepped up its ongoing siege, preventing food and medicine from entering the district and leaving thousands of residents in dire need of medical treatment.
On Thursday, a UN commission of inquiry released a report accusing the Assad regime of committing war crimes in Eastern Ghouta, including the use of chemical weapons against civilians, causing mass starvation and preventing medical evacuations.
Within the last 18 days alone, more than 881 civilians in the embattled district have reportedly been killed.


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