Published: Sun, February 25, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Strikes kill more in Syria

Strikes kill more in Syria

Meanwhile, armed rebels in eastern Ghouta used "dozens of mortar and rocket shells and sniper fire" to target residential neighborhoods in Damascus, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported Saturday.

The U.S. ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, called for the truce to be implemented immediately, but also expressed skepticism that the Damascus government would "allow humanitarian access to all of those who need it".

The latest wave of bombings came after the U.N. Security Council delayed a vote on a resolution demanding a 30-day humanitarian cease-fire for two days to try to get Russian Federation on board.

The Security Council needs to reach a "feasible" agreement on a ceasefire and not take a decision that would be "populistic" and "severed from reality", said Nebenzia. There was no immediate reaction from Damascus.

The resolution also demands the immediate lifting of sieges on populated areas, including Eastern Ghouta, the last major rebel stronghold in the country, which has seen heavy bombardment in the past week. (Ghouta Media Center via AP) In this photo released on Wednesday Feb. 21, 2018, provided by the Syrian anti-government activist group Ghouta Media Center, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Syrian citizens carry a victim during airstrikes and shelling by Syrian government forces, in Ghouta, suburb of Damascus, Syria.

Russia, along with Iran, has given Assad's government crucial support throughout the 7-year-old war in Syria, which began with a government crackdown on protests. In 2015, Moscow joined the war on Assad's side tipping the balance of power in his favor.

The U.N. says almost 400,000 people live in eastern Ghouta, which has been under a government blockade since 2013 - resulting in shortages of food and medical supplies.

The UN says almost 400,000 people live in the region, a pocket of satellite towns and farms that has been under government siege for more than four years.

Sweden and Kuwait presented the measure to the council on February 9, but negotiations have dragged on as Syrian forces backed by Russian Federation escalated their fierce offensive.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to back the United Nations resolution and to press its Syrian government ally to stop the bombardments of Ghouta.

The civil war has killed almost a half-million people and forced 5 million Syrians to flee, the majority to neighboring Lebanon and Jordan.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that "Russia and Iran must stop the regime".

But negotiations were held up over a number of issues, including when the ceasefire should begin.

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