New strikes hit Ghouta despite ceasefire call


Open this

Iran said attacks would continue on rebel-held areas near Damascus, where clashes were reported on Sunday between insurgents and government forces despite a United Nations resolution demanding a 30-day truce across Syria.

After days of diplomatic wrangling, the Security Council on Saturday adopted a resolution calling for a 30-day ceasefire in Syria "without delay", to allow for aid deliveries and medical evacuations.

The resolution does not cover militants from Islamic State, al-Qaeda, and the Nusra Front.

But he said that the U.S. was operating like an occupying power with territorial ambitions in Syria, and blamed the USA and foreign supported Islamist militias, such Al Nusra, the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda of the carnage and humanitarian crisis in Syria.

The government side appears to be justifying its attacks based on this exclusion, saying it is at war against terrorism.

Dr Sakhr al-Dimashqi, a surgeon at a clinic in Ghouta, said several shells hit some towns in the suburbs and six wounded people were treated at the clinic.

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, has characterised the latest intensive bombardment of Syria's Eastern Ghouta as a "crime against humanity". Yet while Moscow supported adopting the resolution, Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia cast doubt on its feasibility.

Russian Federation has been pressing for a negotiated withdrawal of rebel fighters and their families like the one that saw the government retake full control of Syria's second city Aleppo in December 2016.

NPR's Linda Fasulo reports that most Security Council members want the truce to go into effect within 72 hours, but Russian Federation favors language that calls on all sides to halt hostilities "as soon as possible".

For the last week, missiles and air strikes have hit a string of targets across the region, killing over 500 people - including many women and children.

The UN's painstakingly negotiated ceasefire resolution is limited in scope and intended primarily to allow delivery of humanitarian aid, medical assistance and the evacuation of wounded.

It is not known if the video was taken before the eastern Ghouta air strikes, or after.

"Russia's routine use of its veto had become the equivalent of acquiescence in war crimes, allowing all parties in Syria's conflict to act with impunity, with civilians paying the ultimate price", Amnesty says.

Earlier, the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, called for the immediate implementation of the ceasefire.

Syria's former al-Qaeda affiliate is present in Eastern Ghouta and Assad's government routinely describes all of its opponents as "terrorists".

Meanwhile, Islam Army (Jaish al-Islam), the biggest opposition faction in eastern Ghouta, said that they had killed 25 regime fighters while attempting to advance.

Meanwhile, Syrian state media said rebels in Ghouta have killed at least 16 civilians in eastern districts of the city over the past week. AFP PHOTO / Ammar SULEIMANAMMAR SULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images Members of the Syrian Civil Defense group help residents during airstrikes and shelling by Syrian government forces, in Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, Syria.

Latest News