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Elham AbolFateh

Middle East

Syria war: Ghouta pounded as UN tussles over ceasefire

Friday 23/February/2018 - 09:40 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by Ahmed Mohsin
The UN Security Council is struggling to agree a resolution seeking a ceasefire in Syria as a rebel-held area has been bombarded for a sixth day، BBC reported.

A vote is expected but has been delayed several times since Thursday.

Russia wanted changes to a draft that calls for a 30-day calm to allow for aid deliveries and medical evacuations.

Western diplomats have accused Russia، Syria's key ally، of stalling for time. France said failure to act may spell the end of the UN itself.

Minds have been focused amid outrage at the plight of civilians in the Eastern Ghouta rebel enclave.

Activists say 462 people have now been killed there this week.

Warplanes maintained the bombardment on Friday، witnesses said. Douma and Hamouriyeh were among areas hit.

A vote on the resolution in New York was delayed for a second time on Friday to allow for last-minute negotiations with Russia. The latest expected time is 14:30 (19:30 GMT).

Western powers suspect that Moscow wants to give Syria time to deal a final blow to forces defending the rebel-held enclave on the edge of Damascus.

The United States، the UK and France have called for the resolution to be approved without delay. UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura said a truce had to be followed by immediate، unhindered access to the Eastern Ghouta.

What does the draft resolution say?
The draft، put forward by Kuwait and Sweden، calls for a nationwide truce to go into effect 72 hours after the resolution is passed.

Medical evacuations and aid deliveries would start 48 hours after that. The draft says 5.6 million people in 1،244 communities across the country are in acute need.

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