After Russia’s scheduled five-hour ceasefire began on Tuesday morning, Syrian reports claimed it was broken after a little over two hours. The temporary truce was intended to allow civilians to escape the besieged enclave as well safely receive humanitarian aid from agencies.

Douma after an airstrike (archive)

Douma after an airstrike (archive) Photo Credit: EPA-EFE

The humanitarian pause that was launched Tuesday was broken less than three hours after it began, according to various reports from Syria. Russia’s defense ministry announced the truce on Monday, after which eastern Ghouta had reportedly experienced a relatively calm night.

On Tuesday, the pause went into effect in an effort to allow humanitarian organizations to provide aid to the enclave as well as to enable civilians to escape the area. However, after two hours Syrian reports claimed that several airstrikes hit towns in suburban eastern Ghouta. No information about casualties was provided.

Meanwhile, the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on Sunday launched an investigation into the reported use of chemical weapons earlier this month, according to a Reuters report citing anonymous sources. The suspected incident resulted in the death of a child and several injured people.

Reports have suggested that the Syrian government was behind the attack, while Russia was accused of supporting it. Moscow denied the allegations and blamed the rebels for the attack, claiming it was carried out in order to accuse the Syrian government of targeting civilians.