The Christian Science Monitor

Why Syrians in besieged eastern Ghouta refuse to leave

Hope came to the embattled Syrian region of eastern Ghouta today, as a 46-truck convoy carrying food and humanitarian supplies entered the rebel enclave for the first time in weeks.

But before the United Nations convoy could enter, Syrian officials ordered the removal of 70 percent of the medical supplies, Reuters reported: trauma kits and surgical and other medical gear that might help the 400,000 besieged residents cope with two weeks of unrelenting bombing by Syrian regime forces and Russia planes.

And inside eastern Ghouta – a suburb of Damascus where a weeklong cease-fire demanded by the UN Security Council appears to be nonexistent – the air strikes and artillery bombardment continued, even during the aid delivery, which prevented some trucks from being unloaded. With more than 50 people reported killed Monday alone, the death toll for the past 15 days soared past 700. State TV reported that a ground offensive launched by regime forces has recaptured 40 percent of the enclave in recent days,

Loophole in UN cease-fire'Surrender document' not trustedDangerous walk to uncertainty

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