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Humanitarian aid being distributed in the Syrian town of Douma in the rebel-held enclave of eastern Ghouta Humanitarian aid being distributed in the Syrian town of Douma in the rebel-held enclave of eastern Ghouta  (AFP or licensors)

Aid reaches Douma, despite shelling

A United Nations aid convoy has delivered supplies to Eastern Ghouta, which has been under intense shelling for several weeks.

By Nathan Morley

The Red Cross said food supplies arrived in Douma following a break in Syrian government air strikes. A previous delivery of aid was cut short amid shelling, but 46 trucks did make a humanitarian drop-off on Monday.

The Red Cross said there were positive indications that a bigger convoy with additional supplies including medical items might happen next week.

According to reports, Syria's army is poised to slice the rebel-held area in two as forces advancing from the east link up with troops at its western edge.

Last month Syrian government forces launched an operation to take control of Eastern Ghouta. Since then, missiles and artillery strikes have hit a string of targets across the region, killing over 900 people – including many women and children.

The area is the only big rebel bastion close to the capital Damascus.

The government, backed in the war by Russia and Iran, is seeking to crush the last major rebel stronghold.
Around 400,000 people are trapped in an area – before the civil war, 2 million people lived there.

Listen to Nathan Morley's report
09 March 2018, 16:54