Monitor says Syria seizes half of eastern Ghouta

Adjust Comment Print

France and Britain have requested an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the failure of the 30-day ceasefire to take hold in Syria, diplomats said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group says 800 civilians have been killed by government bombing and shelling.

Airstrikes continued Tuesday. The opposition's Syrian Civil Defense search-and-rescue group reported at least nine people were killed in airstrikes on the town of Jisreen.

Gen Yevtushenko said the Russian military were prepared to evacuate more than a thousand sick and wounded persons, but the militants disrupted this opportunity.

Pro-government forces appeared to be approaching the central towns of Misraba and Mudayrah from the east, potentially splitting the enclave in two.

The United Nations says 400,000 people are trapped in the towns and villages of the eastern Ghouta, under government siege for years and already running out of food and medicine before the assault.

Russian warplanes have taken part in the eastern Ghouta operation, and the White House has accused Russia of complicity in the killing of civilians there.

Olwan said Wednesday that rebels had plugged their defensive lines after they crumbled in the early days of the assault.

The state-affiliated al-Ikhbariya TV station on Wednesday broadcast live shots from the region, showing dense columns of smoke rising above the town as explosions and rockets could be heard flying overhead.

The Syrian foreign ministry dismissed reports of a suspected gas attack as lies, state media said.

More news: Sri Lanka declares 10-day emergency over riots
More news: More than 1400 New York-area flight cancellations
More news: At Least 5 Dead In Windstorm Wreaking Havoc Across US East Coast

"This month, it is Eastern Ghouta, which is, in the words of the secretary-general, hell on Earth. The Security Council needs to find a solution to stop the daily bloodbath as this is the Council's responsibility and even if Russian Federation was the one bearing the greatest political and moral iniquity, it remains everyone's responsibility along with Russian Federation".

At the United Nations, key regime backer Russian Federation presses for a negotiated withdrawal of rebel fighters and their families, like the one that saw the government retake full control of Aleppo in December 2016.

The UN Security Council last month voted for a nationwide ceasefire which specifically urged parties to the conflict to allow aid into Eastern Ghouta.

Assad said on Sunday the Syrian army would continue the push into eastern Ghouta, which government forces and allied militia have encircled since 2013.

Although 46 aid trucks entered the area on Monday for the first time since the offensive started, they had cut short their deliveries due to heavy bombardment. The offer presented to the opposition fighters did not include specifics on where they would go after leaving their positions, but it resembles several attempts in the past few months where fighters were able to relocate to other rebel-held areas and guarantees long-term immunity to fighters who accept it.

"Right now there is a huge escalation in Ghouta".

"Russia conducted 20 bombing missions in Damascus and Eastern Ghouta the week of February 24".

US officials have been warning that Turkey's offensive against USA -backed forces in Syria would affect the fight against Islamic State group.

Speaking to reporters at a news conference, Kalın said that Turkey has mobilized all efforts to get concrete results to find a solution to the humanitarian crisis in eastern Ghouta.