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FEATURING RAHUL MAHAJAN – The Syrian government began an aerial assault on the rebel-held region of Eastern Ghouta in mid-February. So far more than 700 civilians are estimated to have been killed but more bodies are being pulled out of the rubble each day. The UN Security Council had issued a 30-day ceasefire in late February but it has failed to hold.

As of Monday the International Red Cross confirmed that it had successfully sent in a convoy of aid to help people who are trapped. But according to the World Health Organization, the Syrian government had ordered nearly three-quarters of all medical supplies to be stripped from the convoy.

The Syrian government’s media outlet SANA has blamed rebel groups for the civilian death toll saying, “The terrorist groups in Ghouta are still preventing civilians from leaving, even with ambulances and transport buses waiting on the other side of the safe corridors.”

So far the Syrian government claims it has retaken about a third of the territory of Eastern Ghouta from anti-government rebels.

Rahul Mahajan is the author of two books on the Iraq war: Full Spectrum Dominance: U.S. Power in Iraq and Beyond and The New Crusade: America’s War on Terrorism. He also teaches sociology at University of Wisconsin, River Falls, and the US Foreign Policy and Empire Correspondent for Rising Up With Sonali.

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