Syria Daily: “Humanitarian Pause”? Pro-Assad Attacks Continue on East Ghouta

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A girl in East Ghouta tends to her brother, injured by a pro-Assad attack

UPDATE 1630 GMT: Pro-Assad attacks continue on parts of East Ghouta, causing casualties:

Another White Helmets rescuer has been killed:


Pro-Assad attacks continued on Tuesday on East Ghouta, near Syria’s capital Damascus, despite Russia’s PR proclamation of a “humanitarian pause”.

Residents, rescuers, and activists said the Assad regime and its allies continued bombing, shelling, and rocketing before and after — and even during — the Russian-declared lull from 9 am to 2 pm.

Ghayath Abu Laith, an Arabic teacher from Douma, said, “The situation did not change….Shelling and airstrikes have not stopped.”

Civil Defense spokesman Siraj Mahmoud said airstrikes and shelling struck towns including Douma, Misraba, and Harasta. Artillery fire on Douma killed two civilians. Another spokesman, Mahmoud Adam, reported several air raids in Douma and Harasta, with four people killed and several wounded.

“Reconnaissance aircraft, warplanes and helicopters have not left the skies over East Ghouta,” Mahmoud said.

Pro-Assad forces continued to pursue a ground offensive near Harasta, but are struggling to advance and appear to be taking heavy casualties. A video posted from a pro-Assad activist on Tuesday showed the bodies of numerous troops in a trench.

Fighting continued overnight for the town of Hawsh al-Dawahira and nearby farms.

Footage of pro-Assad fighters during the “pause”:

Both the Assad regime and Russia set the pretext for the ongoing attacks by proclaiming, without evidence, that rebels had shelled the “evacuation corridor” announced by Moscow on Monday.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov continued the effort on Wednesday morning: “These are the militants, including terror groups, who counter the government and are creating problems linked to prioritization of this decision. There are also forces supporting the anti-government opposition in Syria behind it.”

Russian State media declared, “The second humanitarian pause in Eastern Ghouta in Syria started with a mortar attack by the militants.”

Meanwhile, diplomatic sources confirmed that the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has opened a formal investigation into whether the Assad regime used chlorine in an attack that killed a young girl and wounded 17 people on Monday.

“A Question of Life and Death”

Having watered down a UN Security Council resolution for a 30-day ceasefire, removing any timetable for implementation, the Russian Defense Ministry announced the pause on Monday. However, the edict did not apply to the other 19 hours of the day, and it made no commitment to allow assistance into the area, where scores of people died from lack of food and medicine even before the recent surge in the pro-Assad assault.

Aid agencies said on Tuesday that the daily five-hour window is too limited for any convoys to be arranged.

“It is a question of life and death….We need a 30-day cessation of hostilities in Syria as the Security Council demands,” Jens Laerke, of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance, told a briefing in Geneva.

Pro-opposition journalist Firas Abdullah derided the “evacuation corridors” as propaganda to cover the attacks: “No one left, no one entered — there has been nothing of this sort.”

Moscow pursued similar tactics in and near opposition-held eastern Aleppo city in 2016. After establishing a siege from July and continuously bombing targets, including medical facilities and a UN aid convoy, Russia held back any freeze on the assault by proposing the “humanitarian pauses” for a portion of each day and by proclaiming the “humanitarian corridors”. The opposition part of the city finally capitulated in December.

The escalation of pro-Assad attacks from February 18 on East Ghouta, preparing for an invasion of the territory held by the opposition since 2012, have killed more than 630 people and wounded more than 3,300.

A report from CNN’s Arwa Damon about life in the besieged, bombarded area:

Turkey Feuds With US Over Ceasefire for Afrin

Turkish officials have hit back after the US State Department urged Ankara to implement a ceasefire for the Kurdish canton of Afrin in northwest Syria, where Turkey and Syria rebels have been pursuing an offensive since January 18.

On Tuesday, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the UN Security Council’s resolution for a 30-day ceasefire applied throughout Syria, including Afrin: “Turkey is more than welcome to go back and read the exact text…and [I] would suggest that they do so.”

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy responded on Tuesday, “The comments made by the US State Department spokesperson regarding the UN Security Council’s resolution, saying Turkey should “read it more closely”, have no basis. [The comments] also show that they have not understood the focus of the resolution, or that they are trying to spin it.

Referring to East Ghouta, Aksoy said, “We urge the US to focus on stopping the regime from attacking innocent civilians instead of making statements that help terrorists.”

On Monday, Aksoy denied a claim by a Pentagon spokesperson that the US and Turkey are in diplomatic talks over the Afrin situation.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman also lashed out at a “dishonest” French summary of a phone call between President Emmanuel Macron and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Paris said the call covered a humanitarian ceasefire for “all of Syria, including Afrin”. Aksoy responded, “Mr. Macron did not make reference to Afrin.”

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62 COMMENTS

    • M777 howitzers and helicopter gunships ruling the day.

      Yeah totally unexpected outcome. Up against ground forces armed with nothing but shoulder mounted automatic rifles. Who would have thought those howitzers and helicopter gunships would have been able to pull it off.

      I wonder how US forces would have fared had the tables been turned?

        • It’s not entirely clear they were attacking US forces. In fact, there’s good reason to believe the US had indicated they would step aside and allow the Russian backed forces to take the territory.

          • You really need to stop putting out blatantly false claims. The pro-Assad troops were attacked — after a US warning to back off — amid skirmishes and their advance on Syrian Democratic Forces position, including a village near the gas fields.

          • They attacked the US and had their ass handed to them. Period. I would say nice try, but it’s really not. It’s just sad.

            • They attacked the US and had their ass handed to them. Period.

              They would never have attacked US forces to begin with, just like the US would not attack Russia. For the very reason that a direct confrontation between Russia and the US would be potentially disastrous for both sides.

              • And yet US intelligence intercepted chatter that shows the attack was approved at the upper levels of Russian government if not by Putin himself. Russia thinks they can just deny anything. Which is why they used Russian mercs instead of regular troops. It’s hard to hide that many bodies. Russia attacks the US all the time. There is a fascinating bbc documentary showing that one of Russia’s cyberattacks cost US businesses hundreds of millions of dollars. That is an act of war. And it affected countries across the globe. It even shut some US hospitals down. Despicable. Russia got what was so richly deserved. My only regret is that it didn’t get more Russians.

              • And yet US intelligence intercepted chatter that shows the attack was approved at the upper levels of Russian government if not by Putin himself

                No it didn’t.

                The US has used mercs instead of regular troops for the very same reason. If Russia attacked the US all the time, why hasn’t the US fought back?

                There is a fascinating bbc documentary showing that one of Russia’s cyberattacks cost US businesses hundreds of millions of dollars. That is an act of war.

                First of all, I would rather that the claims are 100% bullshit, but regardless, the US does exactly the same thing, but of course, it’s only ever an act of war when others do it. The Snowden revelations revealed that the NSA is huhgely active with regards to industrial espionage,

                It even shut some US hospitals down.
                You forgot to mention the other debunked claims about shutting down the Vermont Power plant. LOL.

              • You’ve never debunked shit in your entire life. You just make up whatever BS suits your brainless narrative and spread falsehood after falsehood. You wouldn’t know evidence if it jumped up and bit you in the ass.

      • The russians understood what superior military power looks like in less than 3 hrs. Infact they bagged up hundreds kia in total silence…..And a move never to be tried again. I think they got the memo in moscow…Andre.

        • I seem t recall Washington getting a similar memo back in 1983, when a few hundreds US troops were kia in Beirut, The US withdrew all their forces from Lebanon as a result. i don’t believe that made Lebanon a super power overnight Caligola.

          A sucker punch is not a demonstration of power.

          • Comparing a sneaky terrorist attack, before there were terrorism, to helicopter gunships and AC-130s is an act of abject desperation Andre. 215 of Putin’s national socialist boys, who had just graduated from occupying eastern Ukraine, becoming minced meat to be sent back to Russia after March 18, plus the nonsense by Putin about “nuclear propulsion at 20x the speed of sound” just shows you are defending a 3rd rate Nazi regime where deception is the main military strategy. Barbar has given up with Olgino. Time for you to resign.

            • Comparing a sneaky terrorist attack, before there were terrorism, to helicopter gunships and AC-130s is an act of abject desperation Andre.

              No Kazemi. Comparing am ambush by the US military on a small group of mercanaries with a pitched battle with Russian forces is an act of desperation Kazemi.

              240 US troops were sent to the morgue by 2 Lebanese fighters and this led to Reagan pulling out the US army from Lebanon.

              Even more remakrlable is that you are so desperate to suggest the Russian army is a 3rd rate Nazi regime, when they are the second most powerful army in the world by all measures. And they managed to win in Syria in spite of US efforts.

              You lost in Syria. Deal with it.

              • Nobody here cares if US lost or won in Syria. We only care for all the Syrian innocent lives lost, and that includes the rebels who are innocent as well. We care about democracy and not US win or lose. US has no interests in Syria. Even Trump has said he can live with Assad. So stop the childish strawman argument.

              • Andre – have you heard of Hunter Douglas? Tell me what you think about it. You claim to be in the business of Hunter Douglas. But I think you are fake, because you never answer this question. Why are you avoiding this question?

      • Coulda shoulda woulda. The tables weren’t turned and the US spanked that ass. The Russians would do well to remember it.

        • The tables weren’t turned and the US spanked that ass.

          You mean like Hezbollah spanked US military ass in Beirut in 1983? I don\t recall the US military retaliating again Hezbollah or Iran then either.

          • Oh so now you support truck bombs on civilian targets as an example??? that was terrorism….not a clash between military sides. Your arguements are as poor as ever. The ruskies had the spanking of their life. Try it again in deirzzor…..you remain a regional power.

            • Oh so now you support truck bombs on civilian targets as an example??? that was terrorism….

              ROFLA. ivilian targets ? US Army Barracks were a legitimate military target. Not only that but the precision attack on the barracks followed the indiscriminate shelling of Southern Lebanon by the USS New Jersey, which clearly harmed civilians, so the bombing of the barracks was a legitimate military response against a hostile occupier.

              Whichever way you spin it – the US military got the spanking of their life.

              The ruskies had the spanking of their life.

              Actually in terms of spanking, it doesn’t even rate in the top 10 given what the Ruskies suffered in WWII.

              Try it again in deirzzor…..you remain a regional power.

              Yes I agree. Australia can only ever hope to be a regional power if that. Russia on the other hand could destroy the US with the flick of a switch. The US is on the decline and losing power and influence by the way.

              How amazing that Russia managed to win in Syria and the US has been left humiliated and defeated. A great article came out today entitled “The US Empire is Acting like a desperate, Cornered Animal Because that’s what it is” and I could not have said it better.

              • Oh Andre i missed your immagination trips……US world power Russia regional power. Live with it…..

              • That is fine with me – that US is on a decline. But do you really want Nazi Russia to rule the globe? Never forget – if free democratic and advanced people ever have to mobilize, they will wipe out the Russian oligarchy, KGB, and Putin in a matter of minutes. So know thy place. In particular after the spectacular spanking received in Syria.

              • But do you really want Nazi Russia to rule the globe?

                I think you meant to ask is who’s Nazis. You seem perfectly comfortable with your own Nazis.

                Never forget – if free democratic and advanced people ever have to mobilize, they will wipe out the Russian oligarchy, KGB, and Putin in a matter of minutes.

                Same with the US, where the US government ignores the will of the public and serves the ruling elite who buy them off.

                In particular after the spectacular spanking received in Syria.

                Assad is in power and not going anywhere. Dreams os regime change are dead, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah have achieved a stunning and historic victory. And what you believed was a spanking never happened.
                http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/american-fury-the-truth-about-the-russian-deaths-in-syria-a-1196074.html

            • Oh so now you support truck bombs on civilian targets as an example??? that was terrorism….

              You have to love the hypocrisy here. You and all the other regime changers have been having organisms over every VBIED attack against the SAA and now you expect me to swallow this faux indignation?

              • Yes. I do. And stop comparing the two contexts. Just an empty bot head like Andre could bring up the Beirut attacks with what happened in Deirzzor.

              • Only those who are sore at the US humiliation in Syria would pretend that the attack in Deir Ezzor was a pitched battle between the US and Russian forces. Based on that rationale, every defeat suffered by the “rebels” at the hands of Russian forces was a defeat for the US military

              • Anonymous – LMAO, what humiliation in Syria? US never entered the Syrian foray. And when it did, it established an NFZ over 40% of Syria where the Russians dare not to breach. This thing about “humiliation” that you serenade just exposes your deep humiliation to have 215 highly trained Russian gestapos eradicated in under an hour and another 300 injured. And what is most humiliating is that Russia is trying to hide the news until Putin gets reelected.

              • “Organisms”? LOL. This has to be Andre. Just like the other day you were talking about “mistery”. So intelligent. LMAO.

              • LMAO, what humiliation in Syria?
                How about the fact that US plans and predictions for regime change are dead and that Assad remains firmly in power.

                US never entered the Syrian foray.
                No of course not. It just magically dropped so many bombs in Syria that it ran out.
                https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/09/america-dropped-26171-bombs-2016-obama-legacy. Not to mention their admission that they were arming and funding ISIS.

                And when it did, it established an NFZ over 40% of Syria where the Russians dare not to breach.
                Actually it’s only 30% and the Americans aren’t daring to break the other 70%.

                This thing about “humiliation” that you serenade just exposes your deep humiliation to have 215 highly trained Russian gestapos eradicated in under an hour and another 300 injured.
                The number turns out to be around 20.The one who is humiliated is you buying the fake story.
                http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/american-fury-the-truth-about-the-russian-deaths-in-syria-a-1196074.html

          • 1983? ROFL Surprised you didn’t bring up the war of 1812. LOL. Keep trying. Sorry that your precious Russkies caught a vicious L. Well not really. It’s actually hilarious.

      • Wrong. The Russian fighters had howitzers and tanks and BMPs. Your single sourcing of Olgino factory news just makes you miss the on-the-ground realities.

          • Never said the Russians had attack helicopters. Reading comprehension issues? The Russians had artillery and they shelled the US position before being wiped out. These are the facts that your Olgino source doesn’t have.

          • Funny that Andre would consider AQ, Nusra, ISIS etc. legitimate factions so to then claim they do not favor elections! Strawman argument. Have you studied their platforms at all? Sharia law Salafism and all?

            So Andre, we are waiting for you to name one legitimate faction that opposed open internationally monitored elections – and not just by Jimmy Carter who certified communist Chavez election in Venezuela that has now terminated democracy.

            • I am waiting for you to name one legitimate faction that are not dominated or led by Sunni Johadists opposed to democratic elections. Then explain to me why it was that the Saudi Hosteed conference of opposition groups agreed to remove calls for democratic elections from the resolution in order to get it passed.

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