Assad troops take half of besieged Ghouta as rebel groups surrender

The Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room used by the United Nations Human Rights Council in the Palace of Nations

The Russian military quickly insisted the plane was not shot down and blamed the crash on a technical error.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the An-26 twin-engine turboprop crashed Tuesday while preparing to land at the Hemeimeem air base in Syria, killing all 33 passengers and six crew on board.

UNICEF has said that more than 1,000 children have been killed or wounded in Syria in the first two months of 2018. During Syria's siege of Aleppo in 2016, there were similar ceasefires that were not ceasefires, and people who tried to leave were permitted to leave, but then were killed as they were leaving.

A military analyst said that if the army men free al-Reihan, they will open their path to the Eastern direction of the key town Douma after years of terrorists' occupation.

The Syrian government's offensive in the besieged rebel-held enclave of eastern Ghouta can not be justified by its targeting of a few hundred fighters, United Nations human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said in a speech on Wednesday.

Syria has been embroiled in a civil war since 2011.

Air strikes, and artillery and rocket fire on the last major rebel-held enclave near the capital Damascus have killed hundreds and devastated residential areas since they began on February 18.

The report therefore concluded that the coalition had "failed to take all feasible precautions to avoid or minimise incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects, in violation of worldwide humanitarian law".

The report calls on the Security Council to take additional steps after resolution 2401 was adopted, which explicitly provides for the cease of hostilities and facilitating the passage of humanitarian aids into besieged areas. They are exhausted, they are angry. "Protecting them is more important than the worldwide coalition's decisions".

"No child should be witnessing this in their very early state of development".

Since then, a humanitarian convoy reached the besieged eastern suburbs of Damascus on Monday, but the International Committee for the Red Cross said it was forced to halt the aid delivery after the security situation deteriorated while aid workers were on the ground.

At least 24 civilians were killed on Tuesday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

A United Nations convoy delivered food and medicine to the town of Douma on Monday, but aid agencies say Syrian authorities blocked numerous health supplies, including trauma and surgical kits as well as insulin.

Separately, an unnamed Syrian army colonel told state-run television network that Eastern Ghouta residents would return to the "state's embrace" very soon.

"After almost nine hours inside, the decision was made to leave for security reasons and to avoid jeopardizing the safety of humanitarian teams on the ground", Jens Laerke, deputy spokesman for the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, tells the AP.

Almost half of the food aid could not be delivered and Syrian regime authorities removed some medical and health supplies from the trucks, the United Nations said. "The people sit with multiple families, with thousands of families in basement shelters", he said. "Food for civilians was in short supply or prohibitively expensive, and high rates of acute malnutrition were observed", he said.

"The violence called into question future aid deliveries", the wire service notes.

At the least, Skoog said, Sweden wants the government to immediate sign letters allowing another aid convoy to go to eastern Ghouta "preferably tomorrow".

"Regime forces control more than 50 percent of Ghouta", said Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring organisation.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry, consistent with its past positions, has denied the targeting of civilians, but Syria's official news agency, SANA, announced on Tuesday that soldiers loyal to the government had captured the town of Muhamadiya, just at the edge of Eastern Ghouta, and said that the military would continue its push to recapture the city.

The volunteer rescuers, known as the "White Helmets", said on Monday that the suspected chemical attack took place in the town of Hammuriyeh hours after an worldwide aid convoy entered the besieged enclave.

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