Syria enclave 'truce': Fresh violence mars first day of 'humanitarian pause'

Syria enclave 'truce': Fresh violence mars first day of 'humanitarian pause'

The Russian military is accusing Syria's rebels of shelling a humanitarian corridor that Moscow set up with the Syrian government, offering residents of Damascus' besieged eastern suburbs a way out of the embattled enclave.

During this period, the route will be provided to the citizens of Eastern Ghouta to get out.

Jeffrey Feltman, UN under secretary-general for political affairs, expressed frustration over the council's inaction.

Russia, a strong ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has called for daily five-hour local ceasefires to establish what it calls a humanitarian corridor so aid can enter the enclave and civilians and wounded can leave.

"When will your resolution be implemented?" he asked, staring fixedly at members of the UN Security Council, who listened in complete silence.

Bozdag said the Turkish operations have not interrupted humanitarian aid and civilians have not been harmed in Afrin.

"What we need is implementation of (resolution) 2401 and that is not happening", he said.

Russian Federation has on several occasions asked the worldwide community and its "Western colleagues" in the UNSC "so active on the Syrian trajectory" to evaluate the many attacks terrorists in Ghouta have conducted on its diplomatic mission over the past years.

But he said there has been no access for humanitarian convoys, nor authorization by the regime to go into the besieged areas, nor medical evacuations since the Security Council resolution was passed, he said.

"This is cynical, callous and in flagrant defiance of the demands of [Resolution] 2401", said US envoy Kelley Currie.

The rebel groups, which have said they would accept a full ceasefire, deny preventing civilians leaving the area.

According to the Syrian White Helmets civil defense group, the number of casualties has exceeded 400 in the past week due to the Assad regime's fierce attacks.

He stressed that "any enduring pause must be preceded by an agreement of all parties for de-escalation".

Syrian Arab Republic Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar al-Jaafari speaks with China's Ambassador to the U.N. Ma Zhaoxu before the start of a U.N. Security Council meeting on Syria at U.N. headquarters in NY, on February 22.

Syrian government forces have repelled three attacks carried out by militants during a humanitarian pause in Eastern Ghouta, spokesman for Russian center for Syrian reconciliation Maj.

United Nations satellite analysis has shown significant damage across much of eastern Ghouta since December 3, though the enclave has been subjected to regular bombardment throughout the conflict. At the same time, Moscow is also testing its weapons in Syria.

"Russia is daily undertaking efforts to ensure a cessation of hostilities, for humanitarian pauses to be established, to alleviate the plight of suffering civilians", he told council members.

While Russia and the Syrian government say they are aiming at armed groups, who it refers to as "terrorists", civilian neighbourhoods and sources of livelihood have been attacked frequently.

The officer at Wafideen checkpoint warned that if Thursday was equally fruitless, the measure may be dropped, raising fears the kind of bombardment that killed dozens of civilians every day this month would resume.

Related Articles