Syrian Army Preparing to Lift Siege on Militant-held Eastern Ghouta

Ghouta rebels offered safe passage by Russia hours after chlorine attack

The report found that US -led coalition strikes on a school near Raqqa in March 2017 killed 150 residents, or about five times the toll announced by the Pentagon, which claimed that dozens of militants and not civilians had been killed.

Meanwhile, shelling near the rebel-held eastern suburbs of Damascus killed dozens of people over the past 24 hours as President Bashar Assad's government, supported by the Russian military, pushed its assault on the capital's rebel-held suburbs. They also forced an aid convoy, the first to reach the enclave in over three months, to leave before it had fully unloaded.

He said Cavusoglu plans to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during his visit to the United States. The proposal echoes previous agreements under which insurgents, in the face of military defeat, were permitted to withdraw to opposition-held areas along the Turkish border.

Civilians gather near a convoy of Syrian Red Crescent vehicles Monday in Douma in eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, Syria.

The head of the Britain-based Observatory, Rami Abdel Rahman, said four of the 45 victims were children.

Although the convoy was ready to evacuate up to 1,000 civilians from the area in accordance with a previous agreement with jihadists, who had promised to let civilians go in exchange for humanitarian aid, it managed to evacuate only 13 people, including 5 children.

In his annual report to the United Nations Human Rights Council, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said the government's actions in the area were "legally and morally unsustainable", while warning the next nightmare for Syrian civilians would inevitably arrive soon.

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France says the U.N. Security Council will meet Wednesday to discuss the failure to implement its February 24 resolution demanding a cease-fire "without delay" in Syria.

Despite the ceasefire resolution, Moscow and Damascus have not halted the campaign to retake eastern Ghouta, arguing that the fighters they are striking are members of banned terrorist groups unprotected by the truce. So far rebels have dismissed it in public.

About a week ago, a Russia-backed ceasefire came into effect in Syria's Eastern Ghouta.

"People were telling us very desperate stories. God willing, very, very, very soon... they will return to the state's embrace", he said.

Russian Federation meanwhile has offered rebels safe passage out of the area.

The Syrian rebel-controlled Damascus suburb has been cut off from the world by the Assad regime and Russian Federation.

The panel also rejected the United States-led coalition's account of multiple airstrikes last March on a school building in Raqqa Province, which investigators said killed at least 150 of the 200 civilians who were housed there after fleeing fighting elsewhere.

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