US 'prepared to act' on Syria if Security Council does not

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U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the council on March 12 that a cease-fire resolution adopted by the Security Council two weeks ago "has failed" as the Syrian government, backed by Russian Federation, stepped up its offensive in eastern Ghouta. "It is not the path we prefer, but it is a path we have demonstrated we will take, and we are prepared to take it again".

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley issued a stark warning to Russia, Iran and Syria on March 12 over the recent bombings in Syria: the United States is ready to take action if need be.

Addressing the Security Council 16 days after it passed a resolution demanding a cease fire that largely has failed to stop the bombing or allow humanitarian access, Haley compared the situation today to a year ago when the United States launched airstrikes against a Syrian military base after a deadly chemical weapons attack.

Russian Federation has said the cease-fire could not be imposed by the Security Council without a deal between the warring parties.

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor and the Syrian Network for Human Rights call on the Security Council - as it holds its closed meeting today on the implementation of the ceasefire resolution - to take decisive measures to ensure that the ceasefire is taking effect, with the fighting completely halted for medical evacuation and aid delivery in particular.

"According to aid workers, the situation in the enclave of Eastern Ghouta near Damascus, where government forces are trying to oust rebels, is even worse than it was in East Aleppo", Cappelaere said.

"No sieges have been lifted". And not a single critically ill person has been evacuated.

On Monday, Haley told the Security Council that if the 15-member body failed to act on Syria then Washington "remains prepared to act if we must", just as it did in April past year when the United States bombed a Syrian government air base it said was used to launch a deadly chemical weapons attack. Haley said. "Every minute we delayed meant more people were killed, but the Russian delegation stalled and drew out the talks".

Recapturing the enclave would mark one of the most significant victories for President Bashar Assad in the seven-year civil war.

Asked about the Syrian conflict at a news conference in India, Macron said France would be ready to strike if it found "irrefutable evidence" chemical weapons had been used to kill.

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"We urge all parties in the southwest de-escalation zone not to take actions that would jeopardize the ceasefire and make future cooperation more hard".

Thousands of families are sleeping in the open in the streets of the biggest town in the enclave, where there is no longer any room in packed cellars to shelter from government bombardment, local authorities said.

Air strikes and rocket fire slammed into the towns of Harasta and Arbin, the Britain-based monitor said, as the regime used the recently recaptured town of Medeira nearby as a launching pad for a ground assault.

Douma residents said dozens of people were trapped alive under rubble, with rescuers unable to reach them due to the intensity of the raids. "Violence continues in Eastern Ghouta and beyond - including in Afrin, parts of Idlib and into Damascus and its suburbs".

State television broadcasts from the government-controlled side of the battlefront showed dark grey clouds of smoke billowing from several places across a landscape of shattered buildings.

It has confirmed the deaths of 511,000 people, it said, and has the names of more than 350,000 of them.

Hundreds more were on the road, it said, after Turkish forces and their allies on Saturday arrived to within less than 2 km (1 mile) of the city, sparking fears it could be besieged.

The conflict began after mass protests on March 15 2011, dragging in regional and global powers and forcing millions of people - more than half the pre-war population - to flee their homes.

The United Nations has warned of dire shortages of food and medicine, where worldwide deliveries have always been erratic and often obstructed before they could reach the enclave.