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Much-needed aid for thousands of Syrians 'could enter Eastern Ghouta on Sunday' Open in fullscreen

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Much-needed aid for thousands of Syrians 'could enter Eastern Ghouta on Sunday'

The death toll in the besieged Eastern Ghouta has passed 600 [Getty]

Date of publication: 3 March, 2018

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UNICEF's regional director has expressed hope that the brutal Assad regime may allow aid to enter Eastern Ghouta's town of Douma.
UN children’s agency UNICEF say they have received an “indication” from the Assad regime that they may be allowed into the government besieged Eastern Ghouta to hand aid.

The organisation’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa expressed cautious optimism in a press conference on Friday that an aid convoy enough to help 180,000 people would be able to enter the town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta. 

“We have an indication from the government of Syria that an aid convoy will be allowed in on March 4... We hope that indication turns into a bold commitment,” Geert Cappelaere said according to Reuters.

“Between now and Sunday, let us be realistic, we have seen in the past on certain convoys supplies have been taken off, mainly surgical supplies,” he added.

A day before, the UN expressed hope that an aid convoy could enter the besieged enclave to support civilians that have been continuous victims of the brutal Assad regime.

Eastern Ghouta - described as "hell on earth" by the UN chief - has been under a Russian-backed siege since February 18, which has claimed over 600 lives and injured thousandsResidents expect Eastern Ghouta to follow a similar pattern as Eastern Aleppo - which in 2016 fell under regime control after airstrikes gave way to a ground assault.

Meanwhile, activists have begun an #iamstill alive campaign to show solidarity with Eastern Ghouta residents. 

The Syrian conflict began when the Baath regime, in power since 1963 and led by President Bashar al-Assad, responded with military force to peaceful protests demanding democratic reforms during the Arab Spring wave of uprisings, triggering an armed rebellion fuelled by mass defections from the Syrian army.

According to independent monitors, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed in the war, mostly by the regime and its powerful allies, and millions have been displaced both inside and outside of Syria. The brutal tactics pursued mainly by the regime, which have included the use of chemical weapons, sieges, mass executions and torture against civilians have led to war crimes investigations.

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