The voice from the hospital basement in eastern Ghouta

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Most people in East Ghouta live underground. Medical care is increasingly provided in basements. What is happening there cannot bear the light of day.I recently spoke to one of the directors of a hospital MSF has been supporting since 2013 in East Ghouta. The discomfort of sitting in a safe office in Brussels grew as she described the detail of her and her colleagues’ struggle.This young, confident doctor explained that the last five years of siege and on-off bombing and shelling have been ...

Red Cross aid convoy enters Syria’s eastern Ghouta

Thursday, 15 March 2018

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said 25 aid trucks have entered Syria’s besieged eastern Ghouta on Thursday. ICRC spokeswoman Iolanda Jaquemet said the convoy, which were waiting at the al-Wafideen crossing into the rebel-held enclave’s northern pocket, contained enough food aid for 26,100 people for one month, among other items. What was the Syrian opposition’s largest piece of territory near the capital Damascus has now been split into three encircled ...

Turkey ramps up assault on Kurdish enclave in Syria

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Turkey turned up the heat on Syria’s Afrin on Wednesday, as pro-Ankara forces bombarded the Kurdish enclave and closed in on its main city. The development -- which could redraw the map of northern Syria as the conflict enters its eighth year -- came as Russian-backed regime forces pounded shrinking rebel pockets in Eastern Ghouta near Damascus, killing 31 civilians. Turkish-led bombardment killed 10 civilians in Afrin city, which lies in the heart of a Kurdish-majority enclave against ...

Rebel group vows to fight and not leave Syria’s Ghouta

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

The largest rebel group in the besieged suburbs of the Syrian capital Damascus has vowed not to leave the area and to continue fighting advancing government forces.The Jaish al-Islam group was responding to some local reports that said it is negotiating with the Syrian government and its Russian backers to leave the area known as eastern Ghouta.Hamza Bayraqdar, the group’s chief military spokesman, said in a video statement posted online that “our revolutionary ideology does not ...

UNICEF: At least 1,000 children killed across Syria this year

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

At least 1,000 children have been killed across Syria so far this year, said Christophe Boulierac of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). He said that living underground has become the norm in the besieged rebel-held enclave of eastern Ghouta where 400,000 people live. The UN said that it planned to send another aid convoy to eastern Ghouta on Thursday, after 14 of 46 trucks were unable to fully unload on Monday due to shelling on the town of Douma. "After nearly nine hours inside, ...

Greater Damascus: The final touches on the new demographic map

Sunday, 4 March 2018

“Ghouta will fall. That is the message. And when it falls, Idlib must surely be next. And then the Syrians must decide how to break the US-Kurdish hold on Raqqa”, clearly and succinctly, wrote Robert Fisk in ‘The Independent’.Fisk did not forget to mention that Eastern Ghouta (Northeast and East of Damascus) was now a besieged “enclave”; however, he did not bother to say why it became an “enclave” after 7 years of killing, destruction and ...

Eyad Abu Shakra

Syria regime seizes ‘10 percent' of rebel enclave eastern Ghouta - monitor

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Syrian regime forces control "10 percent" of rebel enclave Eastern Ghouta near Damascus following days of ground battles against insurgents, a monitor said on Saturday. The regime “controls 10 percent of the besieged Eastern Ghouta region” after its ground forces retook a pocket of territory in the southeast of the enclave, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Earlier, Syrian government forces took almost complete control of the town of al-Shayfouniya ...

US calls Russia idea of Syria humanitarian corridors ‘a joke’

Friday, 2 March 2018

Russian proposals for humanitarian corridors to evacuate people from Eastern Ghouta in Syria are a “joke” and people are afraid to use them for fear of conscription, exile or death, the US State Department said on Thursday. “The idea that Russia is calling for a so-called humanitarian corridor, I want to be clear, is a joke,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said at a briefing. Residents fear using such corridors because they could be conscripted into Syrian ...

UN official: Hundreds killed despite Ghouta ceasefire, aid delivery “collapsed”

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Russia and Syria clashed with the US and its Western allies Wednesday over responsibility for the failure of a cease-fire to take hold in Syria as the UN said humanitarian convoys are ready to head to 10 locations including besieged eastern Ghouta near the capital Damascus. The contentious Security Council meeting four days after members adopted a resolution demanding a cease-fire “without delay” for at least 30 days throughout Syria to deliver humanitarian aid and evacuate the ...

Syrian government ground forces attack Ghouta despite Russian truce plan

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Syrian government forces launched a ground assault on the edge of the rebel-held eastern Ghouta enclave on Wednesday, seeking to gain territory despite a Russian plan for five-hour daily ceasefires, a war monitor and sources on both sides said. Hundreds of people have died in 11 days of bombing of the eastern Ghouta, a swathe of towns and farms outside Damascus that is the last major rebel-controlled area near the capital. The onslaught has been one of the fiercest of Syria’s civil war, ...

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