Publicado: Sáb, Marcha 03, 2018
Global | Por Milagro Delgado

UN Hopes to Enter Syria's Eastern Ghouta in 'Next Few Days'

UN Hopes to Enter Syria's Eastern Ghouta in 'Next Few Days'

Syrian activists say the Turkish air force has hit two positions of pro-government Syrian fighters deployed last week in the Kurdish enclave of Afrin, killing and wounding a number of fighters.

The Syrian regime has intensified its military campaign recently on eastern Ghouta, besieged since 2013.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid bin Ra'ad al-Hussein, said in an emergency meeting of the United Nations'Human Rights Council on Friday that events in eastern Ghouta likely included "war crimes and potentially crimes against humanity".

Eastern Ghouta is one of four de-escalation zones established last May by Russia, Iran and Turkey in order to stem the bloodshed of Syria's six-year civil war. If anything, this "siege, starve, and surrender" strategy is being applied to Eastern Ghouta even more vigorously than it was to Aleppo.

Russian Major General Vladimir Zolotukhin told Russia news agencies earlier in the day that the militants who control the suburbs are shelling the route and preventing evacuations.

The White House, following Donald Trump calls to Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, issued a statement on Friday that stresses the urgency of the situation in Syria.

The UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura meanwhile said the UN would "not give up in asking for the full implementation of the resolution 2401".

Eastern Ghouta has been under fierce bombardment from Syrian government forces backed by Russian air power.

We welcome the call in the draft resolution for accountability, but note that the text could be clearer on the path towards this goal.

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"I know zero humanitarian actors, who think that five hours are enough", he said.

The pause announced by Russian Federation has lessened but not halted the deadly bombing, which has ripped through homes and reduced residential areas to grey rubble.

The Britain-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said helicopters dropped two bombs on one town in the east Ghouta enclave and a warplane struck another town during the truce. The Russians even went so far as to send mercenaries to attack a United States base in Deir ez-Zor.

In the main town of Douma, 25-year-old Malik Mohammad told AFP the daily pause had not brought any peace of mind to civilians.

"We were not involved in the talks that led to the declaration of a five-hour pause".

A spokesman for the Syrian Civil Defence volunteer rescuers, known as the "White Helmets", said access to the area had been very hard.

Government forces had also made "notable" advances on the western edge of the rebel enclave at Harasta, he said. "There needs to be a complete ceasefire; there needs to be an end to the carnage in Eastern Ghouta; and Russian Federation needs to be held to account".

The price of rice and pasta has soared, as they become increasingly rare in shops. The daily pauses began on Tuesday but so far, no humanitarian aid has gone in - and no civilians have left the area, known as eastern Ghouta.

The military institution reaffirms that the Syrian Army has never used chemical weapons nor it never will.

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