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Aid Convoy Reaches Eastern Ghouta; Some Trucks Return Full After Attacks Resume

Associated Press: Violence halts rare aid delivery to Syria’s Eastern Ghouta
“The first aid delivery in weeks to reach the besieged eastern suburbs of Damascus was cut short after Syrian government forces began shelling the area while aid workers were still inside, a local council said Tuesday, amid a renewed escalation in the government’s deadly aerial and ground campaign…” (Issa, 3/6).

New York Times: Aid Convoy Reaches Syria Town, but Fighting Forces Some Trucks to Return Full
“…By the time the convoy of 46 trucks sent by the United Nations, the International Red Cross, and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent reached the town of Douma around midday on Monday, government officials had already removed many of the medical supplies…” (Cumming-Bruce/Homsi, 3/5).

NPR: Aid Begins To Reach Besieged Syrian Region, As Civilian Deaths Continue
“…The blocked supplies are ‘desperately needed to save lives and reduce suffering,’ the World Health Organization told NPR via email. Eastern Ghouta, a rebel-held suburb of Damascus, has been bombarded for months, with airstrikes by the Syrian government and Russia accelerating sharply February…” (Domonoske, 3/5).

Reuters: Aid reaches Ghouta but retreats after shelling; Syria presses assault
“…The United Nations says 400,000 people are trapped inside the besieged enclave, and were already running out of food and medical supplies before the assault began with intense air strikes two weeks ago…” (McDowall et al., 3/5).

U.N. News: U.N. food relief agency and partners deliver much-needed aid to Syria’s East Ghouta
“…Marwa Awad, a [World Food Programme (WFP)] communications officer based in Damascus, said plans are under way for another humanitarian convoy to access Eastern Ghouta on Thursday…” (3/5).

VOA News: Aid Convoys Reach Syria’s Eastern Ghouta, but Retreat After Shelling
“…The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 68 people were killed Monday in the latest attacks, even as the aid was arriving. That pushed the death toll to 760 in the last three weeks…” (Bredemeier, 3/5).

Washington Post: U.N. convoy begins aid distribution in Syria’s besieged Ghouta area amid shelling
“… ‘The convoy is a positive first step and will lessen the immediate suffering of some civilians in the Eastern Ghouta region,’ said the [International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)] Middle East director, Robert Mardini. ‘But one convoy, however big, will never be enough, given the dire conditions and shortages people are facing. Repeated and continuous humanitarian access is essential, and more must be granted in the coming period…” (Cunningham/Loveluck, 3/5).

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