A Red Crescent truck is seen parked near Syrian and Russian soldiers at a checkpoint at Wafideen camp in Damascus, Syria March 8, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
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A top U.N. aid official appealed to the Syrian government and its Russian backers for a cessation of hostilities in Eastern Ghouta Thursday when a second convoy with desperately needed aid was postponed after government forces split the enclave in two, creating an evolving, unpredictable situation on the ground.Syrian state news agency SANA reported that a second safe route out of Ghouta, along with one near Douma, had been opened in the southern part of the enclave.Wael Alwan, the Istanbul-based spokesman for Failaq al-Rahman, one of the main rebel groups in Ghouta, denied that the territory had been cut in half.The narrow point linking rebel territory in northern and southern parts of Ghouta is all within the range of government fire and impossible for insurgents to cross, meaning the enclave has in military terms been bisected, the commander said.A rebel fighter with Jaish al-Islam, one of the main factions in Ghouta, said intense fighting was underway.
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