Five-hour daily 'humanitarian pause' called by Russia in Eastern Ghouta


Published: 2018-02-27 16:24

Last Updated: 2018-02-27 16:47

The White Helmets team trying to evacuate injuries in Eastern Ghouta. (TheWhiteHelmets)
The White Helmets team trying to evacuate injuries in Eastern Ghouta. (TheWhiteHelmets)
Roya News Source

A daily five-hour pause in the besieged Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta was called by the Syrian ally, Russia, on Monday starting 9 am local time the following day.

The truce ordered by the Russian President, Vladimir Putin aims to allow civilians to evacuate from the besieged area and humanitarian aid to enter.

Despite that, local activists said Assad’s regime forces fired several air and artillery strikes during the first two hours of the Russian-backed truce on Tuesday morning, in which two civilians were killed as a number of shells hit the towns of Douma, Harasta and Misraba.

State media responded by accusing rebels of shelling a "humanitarian corridor" meant to allow civilians to leave.

The spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Jens Laerke, attested to violations committed by the regime forces on Tuesday morning by saying: "Clearly, the situation on the ground is not such that convoys can go in or medical evacuations can go out.”

More than 550 people were killed and thousands injured during the last eight days in Eastern Ghouta as the Assad regime and its allies launched a brutal attack to retake the last remaining opposition-held enclave.

Earlier on Saturday, the UN security council voted for a 30-day truce without specifying a start date. It was drafted by Sweden and Kuwait to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid and medical assistance. However, Assad forces used chemical weapons targeting the town of Chifonieh to the east of the area leaving one child dead and tens injured on Sunday.