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Moscow-backed truce comes into effect in eastern Ghouta

Feb 27, 2018, 5:59 AM EST
Ruins in Syria's eastern Ghouta
(Source: islamicreliefusa/flickr)

A five-hour “humanitarian pause” backed by Russia came into effect in Syria’s eastern Ghouta on Tuesday, to let civilians leave the rebel-held suburb crippled by a fierce spell of bombardment and airstrikes over the last 10 days.

The development reflects Moscow’s dominance in war-torn Syria while exposing the United Nations’ failure to put an end to air raids in the region surrounding Damascus, notes The Guardian.

The uneasy calm in the Damascus suburb comes amid damning reports that men delivering aid in Syria have been trading supplies in exchange for sexual favors from local women, writes the BBC.

The report, entitled "Voices from Syria 2018," claims that the humanitarian agencies are deliberately ignoring the incidents of sexual exploitation as third party officials and local distributors remain their only means to reach dangerous, inaccessible parts.