"On Friday, they fired 36 mortar shells at the humanitarian corridor, about 20 on Saturday, they were also firing mortar shells today," a Syrian army officer told Sputnik, adding that Syrian soldiers were ready to provide aid to all civilians willing to escape the territory seized by militants.
"But militants are not letting them leave, humanitarian convoys cannot pass either. People are actually being used as a human shield," the officer stressed.
On Saturday, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2401 that urges all parties to the conflict to immediately stop all clashes and adhere to a long-term humanitarian pause on the entire territory of Syria in order to ensure the safe and unhindered humanitarian aid supplies as well as medical evacuation of those injured.
Russian President on Saturday discussed the situation in East Ghouta by phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, expressing satisfaction with the adoption of the resolution. However, Putin noted that anti-terror efforts in East Ghouta will continue.
The humanitarian situation in the suburb east of the Syrian capital, has drastically deteriorated since February 18, when Syrian government forces launched an operation codenamed “Damascus Steel,” in a bid to clear the region of militants. According to the Russian military, the terrorist groups in the region are purposely struggling to escalate the situation in East Ghouta, preventing civilians from leaving the area and provoking retaliatory fights against the Syrian government.