News Worms
News Worms

Syria forces cut off Eastern Ghouta's largest town in blow to rebels

Syria forces cut off Eastern Ghouta's largest town in blow to rebels

For eastern Ghouta's civilians, mostly trapped underground with little food or water, the choice of whether or not to emerge to seek supplies may be one of life or death.

It said: "The bomb shelters and basements are full, and people are sleeping in the streets and in public gardens".

TV footage later showed dozens of men, women and children crowded in an underground basement in Misraba after troops captured the area.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his main ally Russian Federation say the campaign in eastern Ghouta is needed to end rebel shelling of Damascus and the rule of Islamist insurgents over the area's civilians.

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has described the city as "hell on Earth", while the UN's human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein blamed the Syrian regime for orchestrating an "apocalypse".

Syrian state television today reported that the army has "intensified its operations. and was advancing in three main zones".

An AFP correspondent inside Douma said shelling and air strikes were rocking the town on Saturday.

International Committee of the Red Cross spokesman Ingy Sedky said aid workers went into eastern Ghouta "after getting security guarantees from all parties to make sure no incident will happen during the presence of our team" there. "No", he said in a text message when asked if the report was correct.

A convoy was unable to finish unloading on Monday because of continued fighting, bringing in the remaining undelivered food parcels on Friday despite bombardment nearby.

It would seal a string of military victories for the Syrian leader since the entry of Russian jets into the war on his side in 2015 turned the course of the conflict against the insurgents.

Ghouta has been besieged for years, but in the last two weeks, the Syrian army has retaken almost all the farmland in eastern Ghouta under cover of near-ceaseless shelling and air strikes, leaving only a dense sprawl of towns - about half the territory - still under insurgent control.

More than 1,000 civilians have been killed since Syria's government launched a brutal offensive on the rebel-controlled Eastern Ghouta enclave almost three weeks ago, a war monitor said on Saturday (March 10).

However, both Jaish al-Islam and Failaq al-Rahman have said they are not negotiating such deals for themselves.

09 de marzo de 2018, 16:37Damascus, Mar 9 (Prensa Latina) A convoy with humanitarian assistance, including 13 truckloads of food, entered the eastern Ghouta region of eastern Syria, where terrorist groups are preventing local residents from moving to safer areas. The TV station said authorities will move the almost 60 people to a safe location, where they will be given shelter and food.

Rebels in recent days tried to slow the advance with an attempted counter-offensive, but were struggling to hold off President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

Residents say they fear government retribution if they were to try and flee the area, or the possibility of being redrafted into the Syrian military and sent to fight on the frontline.


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