Published: Wed, March 07, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

1K children killed in Syrian war this year

1K children killed in Syrian war this year

A significant number of civilians in Syria were killed by Russian and US -led coalition air strikes previous year, according to a new report from United Nations war crimes investigators.

More than 780 civilians - including 170 children - have been killed since Russia-backed regime forces launched an assault on the besieged enclave outside Damascus on February 18.

Forty-six aid trucks entered Eastern Ghouta on Monday for the first time since the offensive started, but had to cut short their deliveries and leave due to heavy bombardment.

Armed groups there, one of them made up of fighters from Al-Qaeda's ex-affiliate, have been firing mortar rounds and rockets on adjacent neighbourhoods of Damascus, killing around 20 civilians in two weeks.

The Russian Defense Ministry said militants could leave with their families and personal weapons through a secure corridor out of eastern Ghouta, where government forces are making rapid gains in a fierce assault.

With the latest deaths, 95 civilians have been killed in regime bombardment of the battered enclave since 5 March, it said.

Monday's convoy was delivering "health and nutrition supplies, along with food for 27,500 people in need", OCHA said.

In the event in which militants should accept the offer, they will be provided with "the necessary number of vehicles and protection along the entire route", said the Russian general, without elaborating on where they would be taken.

The council is expected to meet on Wednesday to discuss the air strikes and clashes in the Syrian enclave of Eastern Ghouta that have continued despite a ceasefire demanded by the top United Nations body ten days ago.

The Syrian government has denied using chemical weapons, saying it surrendered its stockpiles after signing the global ban in 2013.

"After repeated delaying of the resolution of the UN Security Council 2401..."

President Emmanuel Macron said Monday he expects Russian Federation, which voted in favor of resolution 2401, "to take real and concrete steps to immediately stop the indiscriminate bombings and the sieges against civilians".

An official with the International Committee for the Red Cross says aid workers who were on a humanitarian mission inside eastern Ghouta saw rescuers trying to pull corpses from the rubble of buildings.

Russia, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, leases the Hemeimeem military base in Syria, near the Mediterranean coast.

Observers have said advances on the ground might spark fresh efforts to negotiate an evacuation to Idlib, a northern province now hosting defeated anti-regime forces from across Syria. "I doubt they can hold out several months".

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