BEIRUT: A five-hour truce ordered by Syria’s Russian allies to allow civilians to flee a besieged, opposition-held enclave near Damascus failed to result in aid deliveries or medical evacuations Tuesday, while deadly airstrikes and shelling continued in the region.

The U.N. and aid agencies criticized the unilateral arrangement for a daily “humanitarian pause” announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying it gave no guarantees of safety for tens of thousands of residents of eastern Ghouta, where they have been trapped for weeks under intense attack by the Syrian government.

Russia ordered the daily truce, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time, to begin Tuesday. A so-called corridor through a crossing point manned by the Syrian military was set up through which residents could leave, but no civilians used it and many said they feared harassment or arrest if they go into government areas after years of living in the rebel-controlled area.

“Anyone would face a number of dangers at any moment if they step into Damascus, either by arrest or by questioning family members. … We in Ghouta we have no way out,” said Nemaat Mohsen, who lives in the town of Saqba in eastern Ghouta.

The enclave’s residents also fear their region would meet the same fate as the eastern, rebel-held half of the city of Aleppo, where a similar Russian-ordered pause in 2016 called on residents to evacuate the area and for gunmen to lay down their arms. A full ground assault followed, finally bringing Aleppo under the control of forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“People are still in shelters. They didn’t leave it because they have no confidence in the Russian and Syrian governments,” said Firas Abdullah, an opposition activist from Douma, one of the largest towns in eastern Ghouta about 12 miles from the center of Damascus.

Video from the Wafideen crossing point, near Douma, showed preparations to allow civilians to leave, including small buses waiting at a parking area and soldiers milling about. The sound of occasional shelling could be heard, and some appeared to be outgoing rockets from government areas. The site has been used for years as a crossing point between the rebel-controlled sector and Damascus under an informal wartime agreement.

A journalist for Syria’s state-run Al-Ikhbariya TV said rebel-fired mortar shells had targeted the crossing, preventing civilians from leaving. Russian Gen. Viktor Pankov also told Russia’s state news agency Tass that residents couldn’t leave because of the rebel shelling. It was not possible to verify the reports.

Tass said Russian military police set up the humanitarian corridor with the Syrian troops, but there were no signs of anyone emerging.

The U.N. estimates that nearly 400,000 people live in dire conditions from the siege in eastern Ghouta, which has been under intense bombing by government forces for weeks.

The five-hour humanitarian truce ordered by Putin comes after a 30-day U.N. cease-fire unanimously approved Saturday by the Security Council failed to stop the carnage in eastern Ghouta, where more than 500 people have been killed since last week.

Residents and aid groups say such unilateral truces lack provisions for international monitoring and the consensus of all the parties involved.