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Syria conflict: Putin orders Eastern Ghouta 'humanitarian pause'

February 26, 2018 4:22 pm

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has ordered a daily five-hour pause in the Syrian government’s assault on the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta area.

It will start on Tuesday, and include the creation of a “humanitarian corridor” to allow civilians to leave.

The rebel enclave near Damascus, where 393,000 civilians are trapped, has been under intense bombardment by government forces with Russian support.

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More than 560 people have been killed in eight days, a monitoring group says.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu made the announcement about the “humanitarian pause”, saying it would run from 09:00 until 14:00 local time (07:00-12:00 GMT) daily.

In a further statement, the ministry said the Syrian Red Crescent would help set up the corridor and people would receive information about it via leaflets, text messages and videos.

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