Assad ‘considering evacuation’ of children with cancer from Eastern Ghouta 

Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, is reportedly considering a plea from a charity to move seven children suffering from cancer out of a war zone.

Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a British adviser to the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organisations (UOSSM), told the BBC it had requested an evacuation of the children from eastern Ghouta.

The suburb of Damascus, home to 400,000 civilians, has been under siege by Assad’s forces for four years.

It had been indicated by Assad’s private officer that a decision on the children would be made next week, Mr de Bretton-Gordon said.

He told the BBC: "We understand Assad is thinking about it. And we’re calling him back on Tuesday morning to speak to him direct.

"And if he gives us the go-ahead then the plan is that we will get to Ghouta as quickly as we can, get the children."

The children include Rama Helweh, four, who has a malignant throat tumour and hasn’t received the necessary medication for eight months.

The proposed evacuation would not include Karim, a three month old baby who lost his left eye in a bombardment by Assad’ forces and has become a symbol of the suffering in eastern Ghouta.

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