Damascus intensifies Ghouta assault in bid to cut rebel enclave in half

08 March, 2018, 02:07 | Author: Cassandra Gardner

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), government airstrikes and artillery attacks on the region have killed more than 800 people since February 18, Agence France-Presse reported.

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.

"On Monday, after humanitarian action in the city of Douma, we have discussed with representatives of global humanitarian organizations the next steps for coordination when sending humanitarian convoys to eastern Ghouta".

This is the second time this year that a Russian aircraft has crashed in Syria.

Their latest report, which covers the six months that ended January 15, states that "victims of the Syrian conflict have suffered greatly as violence countrywide re-escalated to new heights".

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On Tuesday, the Russian military said in a statement that its forces would provide transport and security for the rebels and their families looking to leave the besieged enclave.

The war crimes investigators acknowledged there was "no evidence to indicate that the. attack deliberately targeted civilians or the Atareb market". The Syrian Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, said the regime was using "poison gas".

"But this is the first incident where we have been able to nail it down to a particular Russian plane and be able to investigate on the ground what took place", he added.

The coalition attack did not amount to a war crime because it had no intent of hitting a civilian target, the panel concluded, but had violated worldwide law by failing to take adequate precautions to protect civilians.

"Russia has gone on to ignore (a United Nations ceasefire's) terms and to kill innocent civilians under the false auspices of counter-terrorism operations", the White House said in a statement.

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"First and foremost we need humanitarian access and then we need all parties to this conflict to respect the lives, I would even say the survival of civilians", urged Filippo Grandi, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

Despite the ceasefire resolution, Moscow and Damascus have not halted the campaign to retake eastern Ghouta, arguing that the fighters they are striking are members of banned terrorist groups unprotected by the truce.

Any peace deal must include justice, the report says.

Russian frigate Admiral Grigorovich firing Kalibr cruise missiles against tagets in Syria, off the Syrian coast, 15 November 2016. A warning: viewers may find some of the images in this report distressing. The Assad government has never let the team into the country.

It's the first time the commission has pinned responsibility for civilian deaths in Syria on Russian Federation.

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The Observatory said the Syrian government forces brought in reinforcements to take part in the Eastern Ghouta battle, placing the number of the backup soldiers at 700.


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