UNICEF chief calls Syria's Ghouta "hell on earth" for children

In a speech he gave before the UN's Council for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, who is the high commissioner for human rights, said that the year 2017 alone witnessed more than 1000 bombings.

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

But soon after the convoy of 13 trucks carrying food parcels crossed into eastern Ghouta, the Observatory and a witness in Douma said air strikes had resumed.

"We continue to call on all parties to immediately allow safe and unimpeded access for further convoys to deliver critical supplies", it said.

"Friday's delivery is the third attempt this week to get humanitarian aid to civilians trapped by the fighting in the region on the edge of the Syrian capital, Damascus, " the BBC noted.

The rebels fired on the corridor between the town of Mlaiha and the rebel-held Jisreen area in Eastern Ghouta, said the report. Shortly after, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad imposed a siege on the area, home to some 400,000 people.

"The situation is relatively good today".

Medical facilities have been hit, adding to shortages of equipment that have made it harder to treat the wounded. "Entire families eat one meal in several days", he said.

That would put the zone effectively under Syrian government control as the remaining strip of rebel territory would be within weapons range.

The militants in Eastern Ghouta have also continued the bombardment of Damascus and its suburbs, firing eight mortar shells at the city and injuring nine people.

United Nations peace envoy Staffan de Mistura briefed the meeting and offered to help broker a deal with Russian Federation to allow fighters in Eastern Ghouta to leave, a diplomat said.

Private Dogan news agency said Jinderes was captured following a day-long fighting and that troops had hoisted the Turkish flag in the town's center.

"Convoys need to come in with food and supplies, and the last convoy was only half unloaded", said Fore.

Dramatic videos released by the opposition's Syrian Civil Defense on Wednesday showed rescuers digging away hard-packed rubble to rescue a dust-covered little boy and a baby girl in the town of Arbeen.

"The factions of Ghouta and their fighters and its people are holding onto their land and will defend it", Hamza Birqdar of the Jaish al-Islam rebel group told Reuters in a text message.

Eastern Ghouta is facing a blistering offensive by Russian-backed government forces.


Defeat in eastern Ghouta would mark the worst setback for the rebels since the opposition was driven from eastern Aleppo in late 2016 after a similar campaign of siege, bombing and ground assaults.

  • Leroy Wright