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Red Cross demands access to wounded in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta

February 21, 17:51 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Eastern Ghouta is included in one of the Syrian de-escalation zones established in accordance with the May 4 decision made by Russia, Iran and Turkey, the guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire

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MOSCOW, February 21. /TASS/. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has called for access to the wounded in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta, as the committee said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is calling for restraint and access to the wounded after the deadly escalation of fighting that has hit Damascus in recent days," the statement reads.

"The medical personnel in Eastern Ghouta can't cope with the high number of injuries. The area does not have enough medicines and supplies, especially after medical facilities were reported to have been hit," the document adds.

"The fighting appears likely to cause much more suffering in the days and weeks ahead, and our teams need to be allowed to enter Eastern Ghouta to aid the wounded," head of ICRC delegation in Syria Marianne Gasser said, as cited in the statement.

According to her, "wounded victims are dying only because they cannot be treated in time. In some areas of Ghouta, entire families have no safe place to go." "On the other side of the frontline, people in Damascus are in constant fear that their children will be hit by falling mortars. This is madness and it has to stop. Civilians must not be targeted," Gasser added.

The statement says that "the ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent accessed Eastern Ghouta in December to facilitate the evacuation of 29 wounded patients. The ICRC's last humanitarian aid delivery to Eastern Ghouta took place in November."

"Words cannot capture the extent of human suffering and despair. We at the ICRC ask for immediate humanitarian access to Eastern Ghouta," the ICRC’s Director for the Middle East Robert Mardini wrote on Twitter.

Eastern Ghouta, controlled by militants and besieged by Syrian government forces, is included in one of the Syrian de-escalation zones established in accordance with the May 4 decision made by Russia, Iran and Turkey, the three guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire. The United Nations has been expressing concern over the situation in this area, calling for enabling humanitarian aid deliveries.

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