DOUMA, Syria (Reuters) – It used to provide fresh food for the Syrian capital; now its hungry people are queuing for bread handouts from a truck.
For over a week now, Syrian government flags have flown over Douma, the biggest town in the agricultural eastern Ghouta region near Damascus, since rebels there surrendered after five years of siege.
They said an alleged chemical weapons attack by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which prompted Western air strikes on Saturday, had driven them to give up – although he says there was no such attack.
International chemical weapons inspectors had not been able to visit Douma by Monday evening, with Britain saying Syria and Russia had been unable to guarantee their safety, though Russia blamed the delay on Saturday’s Western airstrikes.
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