Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

Syrian regime beefs up forces in Ghouta

A boy watches as an aid convoy of Syrian Arab Red Crescent drives through the besieged town of Douma in eastern Ghouta on Monday Executive Summary for March 7th
Alonzo Parks | 08 March, 2018, 02:05

Eight hundred civilians - including at least 177 children - have been killed since Russia-backed regime forces launched an assault on the besieged enclave outside Damascus on Feb 18, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in its latest death toll.

Hundreds of civilians have died in eastern Ghouta in recent days, according to tallies from multiple sources, including the London-based Observatory for Human Rights, the hospital support charity the Syrian American Medical Society and the worldwide aid group UOSSM.

After fresh air and rocket strikes by Syrian government forces killed another 46, State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert blamed Russian Federation for not reeling in the regime of its ally President Bashar al-Assad.

Rebels in Syria's Eastern Ghouta "refuse to leave" and have reiterated they will defend the area, saying a Russian-proposed withdrawal was not a serious offer, a spokesperson of one of the rebel groups in the enclave told Al Jazeera.

Beyond Eastern Ghouta, Zeid said the seven-year-old conflict in Syria was entering "a new phase of horror", noting rising violence in the rebel-held area of Idlib and Turkey's offensive in Afrin.

Islamic State fighters and other insurgent groups committed war crimes including deadly attacks on civilians and using them as human shields, the investigators said in their latest report covering six months through January 15.

US -backed Kurdish forces say they are redeploying fighters from fronts against the Islamic State group in eastern Syria to the Kurdish-controlled enclave of Afrin in the northwest to shore up Kurdish fighters battling a Turkish offensive.

Fresh air strikes batter several key towns despite the daily "pause" announced by Russian Federation.

Former Trump Campaign Aide Balks at Mueller Subpoena
During his interview with Tapper, Nunberg said: "I think Mueller has enough on Trump ". "I'm happy if the scope changes", he said. He was sacked from the Trump campaign after Business Insider published a story about racially charged Facebook posts he had made.

Pawel Krzysiek, head of communications at ICRC Syria, says the situation in the opposition-held Damascus suburb is "desperate". A March 7 Kremlin statement about the gathering did not specify the exact date or where the meeting would take place.

The first shipment of humanitarian aid reached eastern Ghouta on Monday but was cut short on Tuesday after Syrian government forces began shelling the area again.

Those include 24 people who were killed in government attacks on Tuesday, AFP said.

"When you are prepared to kill your own people so easily, lying is easy too". It said the rebels were free to leave with their weapons and families unhindered. "The people sit with multiple families, with thousands of families in basement shelters", he said.

Civilians gather near a convoy of Syrian Red Crescent vehicles Monday in Douma in eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, Syria.

An UNHCR aid convoy drives through the besieged town of Douma, Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, Syria March 5, 2018. The goal of the operation is clear Turkey's Syrian border from the terrorist threat.

A ground offensive has followed the air campaign, with government forces retaking more than 30 per cent of the area of towns and farms in the last few days, seeking to split the rebel enclave into two to divide fighters.

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