The Syrian rebel-held region of Damascus suburb of Ghouta is under two-week onslaught by the country’s government to shell out the rebels – leaving the civilians in the area trapped underground with little or no food and water. However, a convoy of relief trucks have managed to cross the front lines of the region and unload all food and life-sustenance aids for the trapped civilians.
The Syrian suburbs of eastern Ghouta has been under siege by the Syrian government since 2013 to relieve it from the insurgence of rebellious groups – their stronghold closer to the capital city. However, on February 19, Syrian government forces backed by Russian army started off an offensive assault in Ghouta with relentless air-bombarding. The brutal assault on the last major rebel stronghold near Damascus has captured about half its area and killed 976 people. Syrian Assad-led government said that the operation was necessary to end rebel shelling of Damascus and to end the rule of Islamist insurgents over the area’s civilians.
The intense air-bombarding has trapped a population of over 400,000 civilians, as most of them are trapped underground with little food or water, the choice of whether or not to emerge to seek supplies may be one of life or death. There were a couple of pauses in bombarding and the frequency of strikes had decreased, giving people hope to go out on streets but the airstrikes resumed and people were trapped back. However, during the pause at midnight, a convoy of relief trucks managed to reach the city carrying food parcels, water and medications, which were unloaded in the localities of eastern Ghouta.
As per the International Committee of the Red Cross, 2,400 food parcels that were delivered in Ghouta which can sustain 12,000 people for a month. Besides food parcels, 3,248 bags of wheat flour were also unloaded. As per the ICRC, the convoys were unable to unload fully as bullets and mortars were fired at the trucks, forcing them to leave early. Sustenance in Syria is tough, and despite guarantees, the Assad government in alliance with the Russian military has kicked off intense near-ceaseless shelling and airstrikes.