Syria war: Air strikes continues hours after UN ceasefire resolution


The United Nations says almost 400,000 people live in eastern Ghouta, a pocket of towns and farms under government siege since 2013.

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. "The UN Security Council has utterly failed the people of Syria". He later told reporters it was unrealistic to expect an immediate ceasefire and that the parties had to be encouraged to work for it.

The statement said Merkel, Macron and Putin had all welcomed the United Nations resolution on an at least 30-day ceasefire "particularly to allow humanitarian aid into and evacuations out of the war zone". But the measure did not specify when the truce would go into effect, saying only it should be "without delay".

The effort worked, though US Ambassador Nikki Haley was sharply critical of Russian Federation for delaying the vote.

"We are deeply skeptical that the (Syrian) regime will comply", Haley said.

More than 500 people, including more than 120 children, have been killed in seven days of relentless airstrikes in Eastern Ghouta, which UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described as "hell on earth".

The monitor said raids hit Douma, Zamalka and other towns there on Saturday, killing 40 people.

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.

Medical charities have decried attacks on a dozen hospitals.

The insurgents said they would commit to a truce, but would respond to any violation by the Syrian government and its allies. The United States and others accused Moscow of protecting Syrian President Bashar Assad's government and its bombing campaign in the eastern Ghouta suburbs of the capital, Damascus, while allowing a humanitarian disaster to continue.

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The Syrian regime says it is targeting terrorists inside the enclave, as the draft resolution stated the cease-fire doesn't apply to operations against the Islamic State, al-Qaida and the Nusra Front.

Syria claimed, meanwhile, that the ceasefire applied to Turkish forces in Afrin in northwest Syria, as well as American and Israeli forces operating elsewhere on Syrian territory.

Nikki R. Haley, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, criticized Russian Federation for delaying tactics for the resolution, which was backed by every other Security Council member.

About 520 people have died and more than 2,500 have been wounded in eastern Ghouta since a relentless barrage of regime rocket fire, shelling and air strikes began last Sunday.

Rescuers hurry to pull people from rubble, a hard task amid the unrelenting barrage.

A witness in Douma said warplanes were still flying in the morning. The streets have mostly remained empty. "They tried to storm the eastern frontlines".

The UN estimates that over 400 people have been killed and thousands wounded in just one week of fighting.

"We confirm our full commitment to the [UN] resolution ... nevertheless, we reserve the right to defend the civilians of Eastern Ghouta in case of renewed attacks", it said in a statement.

"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.