United Nations resident coordinator in Syria says shelling puts Ghouta convoy at risk

Abu Gassan muezzin of the Huzaifa Mosque in Eastern Ghouta which was destroyed during the airstrikes

A cease-fire resolution for Syria has failed to take hold as Syrian forces, backed by Russian Federation, make gains in Eastern Ghouta.

Meanwhile, the state TV in Syria said the rebels in Eastern Ghouta on Friday fired at the humanitarian corridor in the Wafidin area in northeastern Damascus, the same corridor the humanitarian convoy took to enter into Douma, while opposition activists said the Syrian shelling targeted Douma as the aid convoys were entering.

Teams from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and the United Nations said they had delivered urgently-needed aid in Syria on Friday despite ongoing fighting extremely close to the humanitarian convoy.

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

The government, determined to wrest the eastern Ghouta suburbs from rebel control after seven years of war, has intensified the shelling and bombardment to clear the way for its troops to advance on the ground. The channel has been reporting since last week that rebels have prevented civilians from leaving.

Children gather wood in the besieged town of Douma Eastern Ghouta in Damascus
Children gather wood in the besieged town of Douma Eastern Ghouta in Damascus Credit Reuters

MSF said on Thursday the offensive had killed 1,005 people and injured at least 4,829.

Doctors Without Borders said Friday that between February 18 and March 3 at least 1,005 people were killed and 4,829 wounded - or 71 killed and 344 wounded on average per day.

The World Health Organization said on Friday there are reports that medical facilities in eastern Ghouta were attacked 28 times in February alone. "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".

The Observatory reported heavy fighting on several fronts. "But the losers are plain to see - they are the people of Syria".

But Wael Alwan, the Istanbul-based spokesman for Failaq al-Rahman, one of the main rebel groups in eastern Ghouta, denied that the territory had been cut in half.

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