Amidst gory images, conflicting media reports create confusion about ‘Truce’ in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta

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After more than 500 deaths, which include 185 children, a Russian backed truce was announced in Eastern Ghouta, a rebel stronghold situated on the outskirts of the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday ordered the truce from 9am to 2pm daily (07:00GMT to 12:00GMT) and the creation of a “humanitarian corridor.”

Around 400,000 civilians are under siege in the region, who have been enduring bombardment from the Syrian Government since two weeks now, said a report in CNN. The same number of people being under siege was also reported by the Al Jazeera. 

However, Al Jazeera reported that the truce is being called ‘dishonest’ as two more people have been killed after Syrian Government forces launched fresh attacks in the area.

Alaa al-Ahmed, a local activist, told Al Jazeera that the attacks started at 9:30am (7:30 GMT) on Tuesday, 30 minutes after a Russia-backed ceasefire began.

According to al-Ahmed, Russia did not provide a guarantee or a “trusted third party” to help evacuate the injured out of the area.

“How could people trust Russia – the same people bombing us – with assisting in the safe evacuation of the injured?” he said. “There is huge contradiction.”

On the other hand, Iran’s Press TV reported that Russia’s military has said that ‘terrorists’ are blocking civilian evacuations from Syria’s Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta by shelling the route out of the area hours after a humanitarian pause went into effect.

Again, Al Jazeera reported that not a single person was evacuated from the region as  shelling is ongoing and barrel bombs were used in the outskirts of Douma, a town in Ghouta. On the contrary, Press TV, quoting Russian news agencies, reported that  Syrian government forces, helped by the Russian military, have created the necessary conditions for civilians to be safely received in Vafidin and that medical care was available nearby if necessary.

Press TV in it’s report further mentioned that Eastern Ghouta has witnessed deadly violence over the past few days, with ‘foreign-sponsored terrorists’ launching mortar attacks on the Syrian capital in the face of an imminent humiliating defeat.

‘Western powers, however, blame the Syrian government and Russia for the crisis,” the report said.

On Monday, according to the Syrian Civil Defence also known as the White Helmets, said that in a suspected chemical attack one child was killed.

The White House while condemning the attack said, “Syria is terrorizing hundreds of thousands of civilians,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said. “The regime’s use of chlorine gas as a weapon only intensifies this. The United States calls for an immediate end to offensive operations,”reported the CNN. 

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