United Nations aid convoy re-enters Eastern Ghouta

Posted March 10, 2018

The International Committee of the Red Cross said humanitarian aid from a convoy of 13 trucks was delivered Friday to the Syrian town of Douma, northeast of Damascus, during a pause in fighting.

The UN envoy to Syria, Ali Zaatari, said the bombing resumed "despite assurances of safety from parties including the Russian Federation".

Civilians are not safe anywhere in eastern Ghouta, and aid workers who entered briefly on Monday said some residents hadn't seen sunlight for two weeks because they were sheltering underground.

Here is a summary of events in the rebel enclave, home to around 400,000 people, since the start of the Syrian conflict.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said regime warplanes pounded Douma, while missiles fell on Harasta and Hamouriyah.

Reports of malnourishment were also rampant and many of Eastern Ghouta's residents were living in poorly equipped basements for some respite from almost incessant shelling.

Damascus and Moscow have both said the assault is needed to stop rebel shelling of the nearby capital Damascus and end the rule of Islamist insurgents over civilians in eastern Ghouta.

United Nations human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein has said the assault was "legally, and morally, unsustainable".

In an attempt to alleviate the dire humanitarian crisis in Eastern Ghouta, a 46-truck convoy managed to enter the enclave for the first time in weeks on Monday.

People are calling the hotline set up by the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria, saying they are "tired of the tyranny by the militants; they complain about the unbearable conditions and are eager to flee the area, even bypassing the established humanitarian corridor", Major General Yury Yevtushenko, the head of the Reconciliation Center, said in a statement on Thursday.

Syrian forces pursued a relentless air and ground offensive against Eastern Ghouta on Thursday, March 8, moving closer to retaking the rebel enclave but also depriving desperate civilians of vital aid.

The largest rebel group in Eastern Ghouta is Jaysh al Islam with an estimated 15,000 members, is considered as a terrorist group by the Syrian Government.

President Bashar al-Assad's regime denies involvement. Previous government sieges of rebel areas have ended with thousands of civilians leaving for other parts of the country.

"The situation is relatively good today".

Following the Human Rights Council's recent decision to investigate on the causes and scale of the horrifying death toll in Ghouta, Great Britain presented a resolution that indicated the absence of sustainable humanitarian aid in the region, as well as the recent use of chemical weapons. A report published Tuesday, March 8, 2016 by Save the Children, paints a grim picture in Syria's besieged cities, where young people have lost any hope for the future, living in constant fear of aerial bombardment and lacking access to food and proper medical care. "I don't want to leave, but I don't want any harm to happen to my family", said Abu Ahmad al-Ghoutani, who said he has two children.