Bombardment of Syria's Ghouta endangers aid convoy

Wounded children receive medical treatment at a field hospital after Assad Regime's attacks over Zamalka suburb of the Eastern Ghouta

Wounded children receive medical treatment at a field hospital after Assad Regime's attacks over Zamalka suburb of the Eastern Ghouta

Early Friday, the air strikes stopped briefly, with the area seeing its calmest night in more than a week, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.

Syrians walk past destroyed buildings in the rebel-held town of Hamouria, in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, yesterday.

In a statement Friday, The Army of Islam said that the first batch of fighters to be evacuated is now detained in the group's prisons in eastern Ghouta.

In a statement on Twitter on Friday, the Jaish al-Islam Takfiri outfit, one of the main terror factions in Eastern Ghouta, said the decision to release some Nusra Front inmates had been made in consultation with the United Nations, a number of worldwide parties and civil society representatives from the enclave.

State-run Syrian TV on Friday reported that "dozens of civilians" would likely get out of eastern Ghouta, in addition to 13 gunmen who had turned themselves in, via the Wafideen safe corridor designated by the government.

The 13 food trucks unloaded all their food aid in the town of Douma and returned to government-held territory despite fighting which the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said came "extremely close" to the convoy.

Defeat in eastern Ghouta would deal the rebels their biggest blow since the fall of Aleppo - Syria's second city - in December 2016 by forcing them from their only big stronghold left near Syria's capital. Many civilians have fled from the frontlines into Douma, a town in the enclave.

For President Bashar al-Assad, it would mark a significant victory as he builds on the military momentum created by Russia's entry into the war in 2015 that has restored his rule over large swathes of the country. A resident told Reuters that entire families only ate one meal in several days.

The Syrian government has opened what it calls safe routes out of the enclave, but no inhabitants are known to have left yet. 'Recent attempts to justify indiscriminate and brutal attacks against thousands of civilians are legally and morally unacceptable, ' al-Hussein said, as he referred to the mass killings of civilians while supposedly targeting combatants.

What is the situation in Eastern Ghouta?

The channel has been reporting since last week that rebels have prevented civilians from leaving.

Medical facilities have been hit, adding to shortages of equipment that have made it harder to treat the wounded.

State television reported on Friday morning that the army had control over the village of Beit Sawa, where rebel officials on Thursday said insurgents had recaptured some positions.

Robert Mardini, ICRC's regional director for the Near and Middle East, said in a statement that they were taken aback by fighting that broke out despite guarantees from the parties involved that aid could enter eastern Ghouta.

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