Red Cross says pause in Syria fighting ‘limited’

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BEIRUT:The Red Cross says Russia’s humanitarian pause in an embattled rebel-held enclave near Damascus offers little time for aid delivery and provides no guarantees of safety for besieged residents.

Ingy Sedky, the spokeswoman for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Damascus, said Tuesday that any respite from the fighting in eastern Ghouta is welcome, but that five hours is “very limited and there is little that we can achieve in such limited time.”

Sedky says aid was last delivered to eastern Ghouta in November, when the situation was already “very critical and very dire.” The area has been surrounded by government forces since 2013.

Russia ordered a five-hour daily pause starting Tuesday, urging civilians to leave as Moscow-backed government forces step up their offensive.
Sedky says many civilians will be afraid to use designated humanitarian corridors unless their safety can be guaranteed.

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