A UN aid convoy entered the town of Al-Nashabiyah in the Eastern Ghouta on Sunday 30 July, across the AlWafdeen crossing. The convoy, which consisted of 17 trucks carrying food and home supplies, is an application of the provision to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid and trade convoys in the agreement signed by Russia and the Syrian opposition last week. The agreement came into effect at midnight on Saturday 22 July.
On its official page, the Syrian Red Crescent stated that Red Crescent teams entered the town of Al-Nashabiyah in the Damascus countryside to deliver various humanitarian aid to 7200 beneficiaries within the town.
A reporter for “The Syrian Voice” stated that the convoy was sent from the World Food Programme, UNICEF, the UN Population Fund, and the UN High Commission on Refugees. It contained 1440 food items, such as bags of flour, in addition to personal hygiene bags and a number of kitchen tools.
This aid comes one day following the commitment of the Syrian rebel group “Al-Rahman Legion” to provide all the required facilitation to bring the aid to its intended recipient areas. The group welcomed the UN’s efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to the people of the Eastern Ghouta.
According to the statement signed by the commander-in-chief of the Al-Rahman Legion, the UN office communicated with them specifically regarding the entrance of aid convoys into Al-Nashabiyah in the besieged Eastern Ghouta area.
A previous UN aid caravan of five trucks entered the Eastern Ghouta region around Damascus on the evening of Thursday 27 July, as the first UN convoy to follow the agreement between Russia and the opposition. In a conversation with “The Syrian Voice,” a member of the Syrian Red Crescent Duma branch said that “the trucks carried medical aid from the Syrian Red Cross to the Eastern Ghouta, and not just to the city of Duma,” denying circulated reports that the aid was from Russia.
Local sources stated to “The Syrian Voice” that the medical aid convoy, which entered through the Alwafdeen camp, contained dialysis materials.
In regards to this first UN convoy, the media activist Yousef Al-Bustani said that “the convoy is the application of the most important provision of the agreement between the Russian forces and the Syrian opposition, as it facilitates the operation of bringing humanitarian aid and trade convoys across the Alwafdeen Camp crossing.”
Preceding this was a Russian aid convoy consisting of three trucks that entered Duma through Alwafdeen camp the previous Tuesday, before the signing of the agreement. This convoy, which was handed over to Jaish al-Islam, was accompanied by a Russian delegation.
The Russian convoy contained limited food and medical aid, and acted as an “experimental” convoy which the UN group then followed, according to a statement from the media office of Jaish al-Islam to “The Syrian Voice.”
On Saturday 22 July, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that the Russian forces had struck a ceasefire agreement with the “moderate” Syrian opposition in Eastern Ghouta. The Syrian regime also announced its compliance with the agreement.
“Syria’s Tomorrow Movement,” headed by Ahmad Jarba, former president of the National Coalition for Syrian Opposition Forces, published the provisions of the agreement. These include “the total cessation of killing and firing, the barring of regime or regime-aligned forces from entering the Ghouta, the opening of the Alwafdeen crossing to humanitarian aid and trade convoys, and Russian police observation of the parties’ compliance.”
In this regard, the Syrian Civil Defense documented 98 violations by the regime in the Damascus countryside, including 57 air raids, 39 artillery shells, and two surface-to-surface missiles. These violations resulted in 15 civilian deaths and 141 injuries.