Aid Delivered to Eastern Ghouta as Air Strikes Resume

Bulgaria Ghouta Aid Convoy Postponed Amid Chemical Attack Fears

An emergency aid delivery crossed front lines into the besieged rebel enclave of eastern Ghouta on Friday but ran quickly into danger from renewed shelling, the top United Nations official in Syria said, amid a fierce government offensive.

The Red Crescent said the aid convoy of 13 vehicles passed through front lines and was heading to the enclave's biggest town, Douma.

"Shelling in proximity of Douma, east Ghouta today, is putting the UN/ICRC/SARC convoy at risk, despite assurances of safety from parties including the Russian Federation", the UN humanitarian coordinator in Syria, Ali al-Zaatari, said in a statement.

"They are in", ICRC spokeswoman Ingy Sedky said of the 13 trucks loaded with 2,400 food parcels that had been waiting outside the enclave east of Damascus after the interruption of Monday's delivery.

On Feb. 24, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2401, which calls for a month-long ceasefire in Syria - especially Eastern Ghouta - to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid.

The aid was delivered with helicopters hovering overhead and warplanes targeting areas outside Douma, a correspondent in the town said.

But UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein has said, in comments criticized by Syria's government, that the assault was "legally, and morally, unsustainable".

On Wednesday alone, 90 people were killed in strikes across Eastern Ghouta, according to the Syrian American Medical Society.

Rebels deny this and say the area's inhabitants have not crossed into government territory because they fear persecution.

At the time, activists said the 13 truckloads had to leave Douma due to government shelling, while the government said the rebels shelling hindered the full offload of the remaining trucks before they prepared again to enter Douma on Friday.

Champagne heads to South America to sign CPTPP and talks on Mercosur
Led by Japan , the remaining members spent a year reworking the deal and ended up suspending 22 out of the over 1,000 provisions. On Thursday, Munoz said CPTPP was not an agreement against anyone and several governments had said they want to join it.

Rebel fighters in Eastern Ghouta and Syrian government forces have accused each other of breaking the truce.

The delivery consists of supplies that were not offloaded during a mission to the enclave on Monday, which was cut short because of deteriorating security.

State TV later said that insurgents targeted the Wafideen corridor on Friday afternoon with bullets and mortar shells to prevent people from leaving.

ICRC said it delivered along with the United Nations and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent 2,400 food parcels that can sustain 12,000 people for one month, as well as 3,248 wheat flour bags.

"I don't want to leave, but I don't want any harm to happen to my family", said Abu Ahmad al-Ghoutani, who said he has two children.

There was no confirmation by any of the rebel groups based in Eastern Ghouta of negotiations to leave the area.

Medical facilities have been hit in air strikes, adding to shortages of equipment that have made it harder to treat the wounded. On Friday, the World Health Organization verified 67 attacks on health facilities in the first two months of 2018.

An aid convoy destined for the enclave was postponed Thursday.

It follows a pause in Syrian government air strikes overnight, with the situation in the besieged enclave on Friday described as "calm".

Pro-government forces, led by the Syrian Army's fourth armored division and Republican Guard, are advancing towards the area after successfully repelling a militant counter-attack, and subsequently seizing nearby farms.

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