Evacuation corridor set up at besieged Syrian enclave

Evacuation corridor set up at besieged Syrian enclave

Russia has said it would establish an evacuation corridor and implement a five-hour daily truce to allow people to leave Syria's eastern area of Ghouta.

It's after a U.N. Security Council resolution demanded a 30-day ceasefire across the entire country.

It appeared to make no mention, however, of allowing relief supplies to enter the territory, where 400,000 people are living under siege and bombardment.

Over the past week the Syrian army and its allies have subjected the rebel-held enclave near Damascus to one of the heaviest bombardments of the seven-year war, killing hundreds.

On Sunday, health authorities there said several people had symptoms consistent with chlorine gas exposure. On Monday, rescue workers and a monitoring group said seven small children had been killed by air and artillery strikes in one town.

"Eastern Ghouta cannot wait, it is high time to stop this hell on earth," U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, calling for implementation of the ceasefire.

Fighting has raged across Syria since Saturday's resolution, as Turkey presses its offensive against a Kurdish militia in Afrin, rival rebel groups fight each other in Idlib and a U.S.-led coalition targets Islamic State in the east..

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu was cited by the RIA news agency as saying President Vladimir Putin had ordered a ceasefire in eastern Ghouta from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day, and the creation of a "humanitarian corridor".

Published: by Radio NewsHub
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