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Syrian boy kisses his badly wounded sister hit by airstrikes

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A young boy has been photographed kissing his wounded sister on the cheek after she was hurt during government shelling in Syria’s besieged rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta. 

The poignant moment was captured in the radiography room of a hospital in Douma, the main town in the area defying President Bashar al-Assad’s vicious assault. 

It was taken as an aid convoy began to cross into the enclave, bringing the first relief since one of the deadliest government assaults of the seven-year war began two weeks ago.

The poignant moment was captured in the radiography room of a hospital in Douma, the main town in the area defying President Bashar al-Assad's vicious assault

The poignant moment was captured in the radiography room of a hospital in Douma, the main town in the area defying President Bashar al-Assad's vicious assault

The poignant moment was captured in the radiography room of a hospital in Douma, the main town in the area defying President Bashar al-Assad’s vicious assault

The snap was taken as an aid convoy began to cross into the enclave, bringing the first relief since one of the deadliest government assaults of the seven-year war began two weeks ago. Pictured: Syrian government forces direct Syrian Arab Reb Crescent trucks carrying aid at the al-Wafideen checkpoint on the outskirts of Damascus neighbouring the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta

The snap was taken as an aid convoy began to cross into the enclave, bringing the first relief since one of the deadliest government assaults of the seven-year war began two weeks ago. Pictured: Syrian government forces direct Syrian Arab Reb Crescent trucks carrying aid at the al-Wafideen checkpoint on the outskirts of Damascus neighbouring the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta

The snap was taken as an aid convoy began to cross into the enclave, bringing the first relief since one of the deadliest government assaults of the seven-year war began two weeks ago. Pictured: Syrian government forces direct Syrian Arab Reb Crescent trucks carrying aid at the al-Wafideen checkpoint on the outskirts of Damascus neighbouring the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta

A senior UN official accompanying the convoy stated.he was 'not happy' to hear loud shelling near the crossing point into Eastern Ghouta despite an agreement that the aid would be delivered under peaceful conditions. Pictured: A member of the Syrian government forces looks at destruction in al-Shifoniya as they advance in the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta

A senior UN official accompanying the convoy stated.he was 'not happy' to hear loud shelling near the crossing point into Eastern Ghouta despite an agreement that the aid would be delivered under peaceful conditions. Pictured: A member of the Syrian government forces looks at destruction in al-Shifoniya as they advance in the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta

A senior UN official accompanying the convoy stated.he was ‘not happy’ to hear loud shelling near the crossing point into Eastern Ghouta despite an agreement that the aid would be delivered under peaceful conditions. Pictured: A member of the Syrian government forces looks at destruction in al-Shifoniya as they advance in the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta

President Bashar al-Assad vowed yesterday to continue a military push into the biggest remaining opposition stronghold near Damascus, saying the offensive did not contradict five-hour ceasefires arranged each day by his main supporter Russia. Pictured: Red Cross aid trucks driving into Eastern Ghouta 

President Bashar al-Assad vowed yesterday to continue a military push into the biggest remaining opposition stronghold near Damascus, saying the offensive did not contradict five-hour ceasefires arranged each day by his main supporter Russia. Pictured: Red Cross aid trucks driving into Eastern Ghouta 

President Bashar al-Assad vowed yesterday to continue a military push into the biggest remaining opposition stronghold near Damascus, saying the offensive did not contradict five-hour ceasefires arranged each day by his main supporter Russia. Pictured: Red Cross aid trucks driving into Eastern Ghouta 

A Syrian soldier stands guard as Syrian Arab Red Crescent vehicles carrying aid wait at the al-Wafideen checkpoint on the outskirts of Damascus neighbouring the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta region before delivering aid to the rebel-held enclave earlier today

A Syrian soldier stands guard as Syrian Arab Red Crescent vehicles carrying aid wait at the al-Wafideen checkpoint on the outskirts of Damascus neighbouring the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta region before delivering aid to the rebel-held enclave earlier today

A Syrian soldier stands guard as Syrian Arab Red Crescent vehicles carrying aid wait at the al-Wafideen checkpoint on the outskirts of Damascus neighbouring the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta region before delivering aid to the rebel-held enclave earlier today

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, stated.the death toll from the offensive had exceeded 700 people in two weeks of intense bombardment on the densely populated region of farmland and towns. Pictured: Red Cross supplies heading into the besieged enclave 

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, stated.the death toll from the offensive had exceeded 700 people in two weeks of intense bombardment on the densely populated region of farmland and towns. Pictured: Red Cross supplies heading into the besieged enclave 

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, stated.the death toll from the offensive had exceeded 700 people in two weeks of intense bombardment on the densely populated region of farmland and towns. Pictured: Red Cross supplies heading into the besieged enclave 

The convoy, however, was stripped of vital medical supplies.  

More than two weeks of air strikes, artillery and rocket fire on the last major rebel-held enclave near Damascus have left more than 700 civilians dead and three quarters of homes damaged in the area.

More explosives, including barrel bombs, were dropped in overnight raids today, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group, as aid convoys desperately attempt to get into the area.    

A senior UN official accompanying the convoy stated.he was ‘not happy’ to hear loud shelling near the crossing point into Eastern Ghouta despite an agreement that the aid would be delivered under peaceful conditions.

‘We need to be assured that we will be able to deliver the humanitarian assistance under good conditions,’ Ali al-Za’tari told Reuters at the crossing point.

A World Health Organization (WHO) official stated.government authorities had removed most medical material from UN vehicles, preventing surgical kits, insulin, dialysis equipment and other supplies from reaching the enclave of 400,000 people.

Za’tari stated.the convoy had been scaled back from providing food for 70,000 people to providing for 27,500. The United Nations says Syria has agreed to let it bring the rest of the food for the full 70,000 in a second convoy in three days.

‘The convoy is not sufficient,’ Za’tari said.

More than two weeks of air strikes, artillery and rocket fire on the last major rebel-held enclave near Damascus have left more than 700 civilians dead and three quarters of homes damaged in the area

More than two weeks of air strikes, artillery and rocket fire on the last major rebel-held enclave near Damascus have left more than 700 civilians dead and three quarters of homes damaged in the area

More than two weeks of air strikes, artillery and rocket fire on the last major rebel-held enclave near Damascus have left more than 700 civilians dead and three quarters of homes damaged in the area

Syrian government forces flash the sign for victory while sitting in a truck after entering al-Shifoniya as they advance in the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta yesterday

Syrian government forces flash the sign for victory while sitting in a truck after entering al-Shifoniya as they advance in the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta yesterday

Syrian government forces flash the sign for victory while sitting in a truck after entering al-Shifoniya as they advance in the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta yesterday

A member of the Syrian government walks along a destroyed street in al-Shifoniya during the advance on the rebel-held enclave yesterday 

A member of the Syrian government walks along a destroyed street in al-Shifoniya during the advance on the rebel-held enclave yesterday 

A member of the Syrian government walks along a destroyed street in al-Shifoniya during the advance on the rebel-held enclave yesterday 

Syrian army and Russian soldiers stood on the government-held side of the crossing point, and empty buses waited to evacuate any civilians who might leave Eastern Ghouta. Pictured: A Syrian government military vehicle advancing into Eastern Ghouta yesterday 

Syrian army and Russian soldiers stood on the government-held side of the crossing point, and empty buses waited to evacuate any civilians who might leave Eastern Ghouta. Pictured: A Syrian government military vehicle advancing into Eastern Ghouta yesterday 

Syrian army and Russian soldiers stood on the government-held side of the crossing point, and empty buses waited to evacuate any civilians who might leave Eastern Ghouta. Pictured: A Syrian government military vehicle advancing into Eastern Ghouta yesterday 

President Bashar al-Assad vowed yesterday to continue a military push into the biggest remaining opposition stronghold near Damascus, saying the offensive did not contradict five-hour ceasefires arranged each day by his main supporter Russia.

A wider, full ceasefire backed by the UN Security Council has not come into effect during the campaign, which began with massive government air strikes two weeks ago and has continued in recent days with a ground assault.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, stated.the death toll from the offensive had exceeded 700 people in two weeks of intense bombardment on the densely populated region of farmland and towns.

Pro-Assad forces have made sudden advances into Eastern Ghouta in recent days, capturing a third of the area, the Observatory said, and bringing them close to cutting it in two. Late on Sunday, a rebel official stated.factions in Eastern Ghouta were working together to prepare to retake lost ground.

A severely wounded Syrian child is seen at a hospital in Afrin today. Turkish-led Syrian opposition fighters have advanced steadily since January 20, when they launched an assault on Afrin, controlled by the Kurdish People's Protection Units

A severely wounded Syrian child is seen at a hospital in Afrin today. Turkish-led Syrian opposition fighters have advanced steadily since January 20, when they launched an assault on Afrin, controlled by the Kurdish People's Protection Units

A severely wounded Syrian child is seen at a hospital in Afrin today. Turkish-led Syrian opposition fighters have advanced steadily since January 20, when they launched an assault on Afrin, controlled by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units

Wounded Syrian children are seen at a hospital in Afrin, a city in northwestern Syria where a separate offensive is leading to deaths and injuries among civilians 

Wounded Syrian children are seen at a hospital in Afrin, a city in northwestern Syria where a separate offensive is leading to deaths and injuries among civilians 

Wounded Syrian children are seen at a hospital in Afrin, a city in northwestern Syria where a separate offensive is leading to deaths and injuries among civilians 

Syrian state television broadcast this morning from al-Shifouniyeh, one of the villages captured by the government, showing collapsed concrete buildings, rubble-strewn streets and bullet-pocked walls.

The area has been under siege by government forces since 2013, and the United Nations had feared that people inside were running out of food and medicine even before the major assault began two weeks ago. Only one convoy of aid has reached the area so far in 2018, on February 14.

In comments broadcast by state television today, Assad dismissed Western statements about the humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta as ‘a ridiculous lie’.

Moscow made a similar case at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva: ‘The media atmosphere is saturated with lies,’ Russian diplomat Alexei Goltyaev said.

A wounded Syrian man waits to receive treatment at a make-shift hospital in Douma following Syrian government bombardments on the besieged rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta yesterday

A wounded Syrian man waits to receive treatment at a make-shift hospital in Douma following Syrian government bombardments on the besieged rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta yesterday

A wounded Syrian man waits to receive treatment at a make-shift hospital in Douma following Syrian government bombardments on the besieged rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta yesterday

Syrian children sit in the back of a truck driven by White Helmets, as they flee their homes in the town of Beit Sawa in Syria's besieged enclave 

Syrian children sit in the back of a truck driven by White Helmets, as they flee their homes in the town of Beit Sawa in Syria's besieged enclave 

Syrian children sit in the back of a truck driven by White Helmets, as they flee their homes in the town of Beit Sawa in Syria’s besieged enclave 

A child injured in shelling cries during treatment in a hospital in Douma, Eastern Ghouta on Saturday

A child injured in shelling cries during treatment in a hospital in Douma, Eastern Ghouta on Saturday

A child injured in shelling cries during treatment in a hospital in Douma, Eastern Ghouta on Saturday

‘As a result we see debates and votes that are entirely removed from the actual situation on the ground.’

Today’s convoy of trucks sent by the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent passed the last Syrian government checkpoint and began to drive into the rebel-held area, a Reuters witness said.

The UN’s Za’tari stated.it would take ‘many hours’ to offload the aid and it might be ‘well after nightfall’ before it could return. 

Syrian army and Russian soldiers stood on the government-held side of the crossing point, and empty buses waited to evacuate any civilians who might leave Eastern Ghouta.

Syrians sit in the back of a truck ,driven by White Helmets, as they try to flee their homes in the town of Hamouria in Syria's besieged Eastern Ghouta region

Syrians sit in the back of a truck ,driven by White Helmets, as they try to flee their homes in the town of Hamouria in Syria's besieged Eastern Ghouta region

Syrians sit in the back of a truck ,driven by White Helmets, as they try to flee their homes in the town of Hamouria in Syria’s besieged Eastern Ghouta region

Syrians flee their homes in the town of Beit Sawa in Syria's besieged Eastern Ghouta. In comments broadcast by state television today, Assad dismissed Western statements about the humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta as 'a ridiculous lie'

Syrians flee their homes in the town of Beit Sawa in Syria's besieged Eastern Ghouta. In comments broadcast by state television today, Assad dismissed Western statements about the humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta as 'a ridiculous lie'

Syrians flee their homes in the town of Beit Sawa in Syria’s besieged Eastern Ghouta. In comments broadcast by state television today, Assad dismissed Western statements about the humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta as ‘a ridiculous lie’

The UN’s aid agency OCHA stated.yesterday it aimed to deliver a convoy with 46 truckloads of health, food and nutrition supplies to Eastern Ghouta.

A WHO official told Reuters that Syrian government officials had rejected 70 per cent of the supplies it had prepared for today’s convoy, including ‘all trauma (kits), surgical, dialysis sessions and insulin’.

Russia’s military stated.the rebels which control Eastern Ghouta had agreed to let civilians leave in return for aid.

Assad and Russia have both repeatedly accused the rebels of stopping civilians fleeing Eastern Ghouta, a charge denied by the insurgents, who say people there fear arrest, torture or forcible conscription if they cross into government areas.

Concern for civilians in Eastern Ghouta helped prompt a UN Security Council resolution a week ago demanding a full ceasefire across all of Syria.

Veto-wielding member Russia accepted the resolution, but says it does not apply to the rebel groups in Eastern Ghouta, which Moscow regards as members of terrorist groups banned by the United Nations.

Moscow has instead established daily humanitarian pauses from 9am to 2pm.               

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