Russia to start 'humanitarian pause' in E.Ghouta

Humanitarian corridor to open for 5 hours daily for civilians to exit region, Russian defense minister says

Russia to start 'humanitarian pause' in E.Ghouta

World Bulletin / News Desk

Russia will introduce a daily humanitarian pause in Syria's besieged enclave of eastern Ghouta as of Feb. 27 by order of President Vladimir Putin, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Monday.

A humanitarian corridor will be open for civilians to exit the region every day from 9 am till 2 pm (0600-1100GMT), said Shoigu, speaking to the Defense Ministry Board.

The location of the corridor will be announced soon, Shoigu pledged.

Similar humanitarian corridors have been suggested for near Al-Tanf and Rukban, Shoigu added.

Russia also offered to establish an international humanitarian commission under the UN that would be able to enter Raqqah to evaluate the situation, he said.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General spokesman Stephane Dujarric on Monday said at least 30 people, including woman and children, have been killed in the last 48 hours in eastern Ghouta.

"Since  Feb. 19, escalating hostilities have resulted in 500 deaths and some 1,500 injuries in eastern Ghouta. A total of 24 health facilities in eastern Ghouta were reportedly impacted by shelling and airstrikes, in addition to three humanitarian sites," he told reporters.

 Dujarric said during the same period, attacks on Damascus and the governorate resulted in 14 deaths and 214 injuries.

Commenting on Russia's humanitarian pause, Dujarric said: "Five hours is better than no hours but we would like to see any cessation of hostilities be extended thirty days as the Security Council has said but we will effort to do whatever we can within the time that we are able to work."

On Sunday, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution calling for a 30-day ceasefire in Syria without delay.

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, forces of the Assad regime 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. 

Hundreds have been killed by Assad regime airstrikes just in recent days.

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.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Şubat 2018, 09:25