Jihadists in control of East Ghouta are “deliberately exacerbating” the humanitarian crisis in the Damascus suburb, hindering all government attempts to help civilians, according to the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria.
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“The humanitarian, social and economic situation in Eastern Ghouta is deliberately exacerbated by the leaders of the al-Islam, Failak Ar-Rahman and Jabhat al-Nusra illegal armed groups,” Maj. Gen. Yuri Yevtushenko said on Saturday. “All attempts by the government of the Syrian Arab Republic to provide assistance to civilians in the Eastern Ghouta region are blocked by militants.”
The Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria specifically noted that Jeyish al-Islam militants continue to terrorize the local population and prevent civilians from leaving the militant-controlled areas by blocking a humanitarian corridor near Muhayam al-Waffedin.
Over the last 24 hours, the militants in control of the suburb of East Ghouta detonated 27 mines and fired two missiles into residential areas of Damascus. One of the rockets hit a house in Rukn ad-Din district of the Syrian capital. “There is significant destruction and casualties among civilians,” Yevtushenko said. “Over 24 hours, a total of four civilians were killed and 51 more were injured.”
The Russian military accused the terrorists of deliberately subverting the negotiation progress and attempting to provoke government forces to respond.
On Saturday the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution proposing a 30-day humanitarian ceasefire in Syria. The ceasefire does not apply to members of the Islamic State, Al Nusrah or any other terrorist organizations. While voting for the resolution, Russia reiterated its earlier accusations that the West was conducting a “propaganda campaign” against the government forces in Eastern Ghouta. The Damascus suburb has recently been described by Western media outlets as the scene of a government-led massacre, while the atrocities committed by various jihadist groups in the area are deliberately omitted.
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