Aid convoys leave Eastern Ghouta after delivering all shipment


ICRC, SARC and United Nations teams in Eastern Ghouta delivered 2,400 food parcels that can sustain 12,000 people for one month, as well as 3,248 bags of flour, the ICRC said in a statement.

The 13 truckloads of aid that entered the rebel-held Douma district in the Eastern Ghouta countryside east of Damascus have unloaded the shipment, according to Inji Sedky, the spokesperson of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Data was collected from the evenings of February 18 to March 3. The group known by its French acronym, MSF, said that the data was collected from 10 medical facilities that it provides with full support and another 10 facilities it provides with emergency medical donations inside the eastern Ghouta enclave.

Syrian state television and a witness later said bullets and mortars were fired from inside the rebel enclave at the al-Wafidin crossing point, through which the convoy had entered eastern Ghouta.

Zeina Karam is an Associated Press writer. "Daily, we hear an increasing sense of hopelessness and despair, as our medical colleagues reach the limits of what a person can be expected to do".

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In many cases, rebels have surrendered terrain in return for safe passage to other opposition areas for themselves as well as relatives and other civilians loath to fall back under Assad's rule. Some 400,000 people are believed to be inside the territory, trapped under a relentless air and ground campaign.

The Observatory reported heavy fighting on several fronts.

In a letter last month to U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the three main rebel factions in eastern Ghouta said they were committed to making al-Qaida-linked fighters and their families leave within 15 days.

The most densely populated areas in eastern Ghouta are still under rebel control, including the towns of Douma, Harasta, Kfar Batna, Saqba and Hammouriyeh.