Russia to introduce ‘humanitarian pause’ in E.Ghouta

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    Humanitarian corridor will be open for civilians to exit region every day from 9 am till 2 pm, says Russian defense minister

    – 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 Shoygu 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 Shoygu, speaking to the Defense Ministry Board.

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

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

    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.

     

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