France, Britain request emergency United Nations meeting on Syria

A boy watches as an aid convoy of Syrian Arab Red Crescent drives through the besieged town of Douma in eastern Ghouta on Monday

Fresh air strikes and clashes shook the Syrian rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta yesterday after desperately needed aid deliveries were cut short by fighting.

Eastern Ghouta is one of the last major rebel-held enclaves in Syria, which has been ravaged by war for nearly seven years.

The UN's refugee agency UNHCR said the convoy was in the town of Douma for almost nine hours before it cut short its mission.

"We delivered as much as we could amidst shelling".

Re-examining a USA -led coalition air strike on a school sheltering displaced people in al-Badiya, Raqqa in March 2017, when the area was controlled by Islamic State forces, they found after extensive interviews with survivors and rescuers that "of more than 200 residents in the school, 150 were killed".

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said strikes targeted front lines near the town of Harasta and the villages of Beit Sawa and Hosh al-Ashari.

An air strike by a Russian aircraft using unguided weapons hit a market killing at least 84 people in Atareb, west of Aleppo, last November, while strikes by the US -led coalition killed 150 residents of a school holding displaced people near Raqqa in March 2017, their report said. Another 49 died elsewhere in the enclave, it added.

The humanitarian situation appears to be worsening due to the lack of food and adequate medical help and significant internal displacement is starting to occur, local activists said.

The volunteer rescuers, known as the "White Helmets", said on Monday that the suspected chemical attack took place in the town of Hammuriyeh hours after an worldwide aid convoy entered the besieged enclave.

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France on Tuesday condemned the Syrian regime's continuous attacks in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta and urged Russian Federation and Iran to interfere to implement the cease-fire in the region.

In the enclave's main town of Douma, air strikes had reduced homes to piles of rubble on both sides of the road, an AFP correspondent reported.

But it said the Syrian government offloaded 70 percent of the health supplies, including trauma and surgical kits and insulin, before allowing the convoy to enter eastern Ghouta.

Despite the fact that as many as 400,000 people live in the city with scarce medical facilities and food, the regime has continued attacks and blocking the delivery of global aid. "They must be protected", said Sonia Khush, the group's Syria director.

President Emmanuel Macron said Monday he expects Russian Federation, which voted in favor of resolution 2401, "to take real and concrete steps to immediately stop the indiscriminate bombings and the sieges against civilians".

Hamish de Bretton-Gordon spoke to Julia Hartley-Brewer after a United Nations convoy, dispatched to deliver aid to the eastern Ghouta area of Syria, was forced to leave the rebel enclave due to intense shelling, despite a ceasefire agreement signed a few days ago.

Moscow has been accused by weapons experts of using inaccurate munitions in the past in its campaign, but those accusations have been focused on the motivation that they are likely to be cheaper than precision-guided missiles.

An aid expert has blamed Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad for the latest relief crisis to hit war-torn Syria.

Syrian government forces used chemical weapons against insurgents in eastern Ghouta, including chlorine three times in July, and in Harasta on the western edge of the zone in November, the report said. "The operation must continue", he said.

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