Assad regime attacks E. Ghouta despite UN call, Russian truce
A total of eight civilians were killed in Syria's besieged Eastern Ghouta on Wednesday by Bashar al-Assad regime and its supporters, despite UN Security Council Resolution and Russia's announced truce.
According to the Syrian White Helmets civil defense group, airstrikes and ground attacks targeted civilian residents of Marj, Haresta, Madyara, Douma, Kafr Batna, Arbin, Beyt Sava and Semelka in Eastern Ghouta since morning.
Three people in Beyt Sava, one in Haresta, three in Douma and one in Marj were killed as a result of the attacks.
UN Security Council Resolution 2401 was adopted unanimously on Saturday, which calls for a 30-day cease-fire in Eastern Ghouta to allow the delivery of badly-needed humanitarian aid.
On Monday, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said Russia would introduce a daily "humanitarian pause" in Eastern Ghouta as of Feb. 27 by the order of President Vladimir Putin.
A humanitarian corridor will be open to civilians to exit the region every day from 9 a.m. till 2 p.m. (0600-1100GMT), said Shoigu.
According to White Helmets spokesperson Siraj Mahmoud, 68 civilians were killed in the area between Feb. 25-27, after the announcement of the UNSC resolution.
Eastern Ghouta, a Damascus suburb, has been under siege for the last five years and humanitarian access to the area, which is home to some 400,000 people, has been completely cut off.
In the past eight months, Assad regime forces have intensified their siege of Eastern Ghouta, making it nearly impossible for food or medicine to get into the district, and leaving thousands of patients in need of treatment.
Since Feb. 19, escalating hostilities have resulted in 560 deaths and more than 2,000 injuries in Eastern Ghouta, with 24 health facilities impacted by shelling and airstrikes, according to UN officials.
Syria has been locked in a devastating conflict since early 2011 when the regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.
According to UN officials, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict to date.