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“Syria’s East Ghouta militants hold civilians hostage, plan ‘chemical’ provocations” – Russian MoD

[RT] ~ Militants in the Eastern Ghouta district of Syria are indiscriminately shelling the capital, Damascus, according to Russia’s Defence Ministry. That’s despite the United Nations voting on Saturday to implement a ceasefire.

[South Front] ~ At 12:00 local time a humanitarian pause entered into force in the militant-held part of the Eastern Ghouta region, near Damascus on February 27.

However, according to Russian General Viktor Pankov, a chief of the group controlling the de-escalation zone in the area, civilians cannot leave Eastern Ghouta amid mortar shellings of the humanitarian corridor near Vafidin.

“At 9 am on February 27, a humanitarian corridor was opened for the release of civilians from the zone of de-escalation. Currently, militants launched intense shelling and not a single civilian has come out,” Pankov told media.

Earlier, the Syrian state-run news agency SANA reported that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) had shelled the humanitarian corridor.

On February 26, the Russian Defense Ministry said that a daily humanitarian pause from 09:00 to 14:00 (local time) will start in the East Ghouta region near Damascus on February 27.