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Syria: US accuses Russian Federation of killing civilians in eastern Ghouta

Syria: US accuses Russian Federation of killing civilians in eastern Ghouta

The first aid convoy, which consists of 46 trucks, is slated to enter Douma on Monday morning, led by Ali al-Za'atri, the UN's resident humanitarian coordinator in Syria. A 30-day truce called for by the UN Security Council has failed to stop the bloodshed.

The Observatory says government shelling and air strikes have killed 659 people in eastern Ghouta since Feb 18, while rebel shelling of Damascus has killed 27.

A United Nations humanitarian official said 400,000 people in eastern Ghouta were being subjected to unacceptable "collective punishment", which is illegal under the Geneva Conventions.

"Instead of a much-needed reprieve, we continue to see more fighting, more death, and more disturbing reports of hunger and hospitals being bombed", he said.

How bad is the humanitarian situation?

The clashes between regime forces and rebels come after Russian Federation on Tuesday started a daily five-hour "humanitarian pause".

The U.N. said in a statement on Sunday that it was concerned about the violence and that "collective punishment of civilians is simply unacceptable". The Observatory said the advancing forces could soon besiege Afrin city, where 1 million people live.

Where are people fleeing to?

OCHA said the aid would be taken in to Eastern Ghouta by the United Nations and its partners, after they "received approval to deliver assistance for 70,000 people in need in the besieged enclave". The enclave is an agricultural region about the size of Manchester in the UK.

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This can be seen to suggest that North Korea has been driven into a corner by trade restrictions as a result of the sanctions. Kang was addressing the UN Human Rights Council a day after the Olympic Winter Games closed in her country.

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Today, Friday, is expected to be mostly dry with a mix of cloud and sunny spells; the best of the sunshine is likely in the north. Some places, particularly along exposed coastal areas, will also see blustery conditions and wintry showers of sleet and hail.

They have reached the centre of the enclave, to the edge of Beit Sawa, according to the Observatory.

Eastern Ghouta has been besieged by government forces since 2013. According to activists, there are small pockets of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an al-Qaeda affiliate, still in the area.

A person rides a bicycle through an area of destroyed homes local residents were searching through for their belongings in the Al-Asqalani neighborhood in Irbin town, Eastern Ghouta in Syria on February 28, 2018.

Russia, along with Iran, has given Assad's government crucial support throughout the Syrian war, which began with a government crackdown on peaceful protests.

Several reports suggest government forces are attempting to cut the region in two.

Backed by Russian air power, the Syrian military has advanced on several fronts, retaking control of farms and villages, a military source told state media.

May and Trump "agreed it was a humanitarian catastrophe, and that the overwhelming responsibility for the heart-breaking human suffering lay with the Syrian regime and Russian Federation, as the regime's main backer", the prime minister's office said.

Damascus and Moscow have accused rebels of preventing civilians from leaving.

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