Syrian opposition activists have reported a new wave of airstrikes and shelling on eastern suburbs of the capital Damascus, leaving three people dead and more than a dozen wounded.
Saturday’s bombardment comes after the UN Security Council delayed a vote on a resolution demanding a 30-day humanitarian ceasefire across Syria in hopes of closing a gap over the timing for a halt to fighting.
"We are urging an immediate ceasefire, protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure and unfettered humanitarian access to Eastern Ghouta"
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Ghouta Media Centre, an activist collective, said the airstrikes hit several suburbs of the capital killing three in the town of Harasta.
The Observatory said that since the latest wave of bombardment began on Sunday, 474 civilians – including 114 children – have been killed in the region known as eastern Ghouta.
Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia has called an immediate ceasefire unrealistic, and in an apparent bid to get Russian support, sponsors Kuwait and Sweden amended the draft resolution to drop a demand that the ceasefire takes effect 72 hours after the resolution’s adoption.
Instead, the new text circulated on Friday night “demands that all parties cease hostilities without delay”.
The latest draft resolution says a ceasefire must be followed immediately by access for humanitarian convoys and medical teams to evacuate the critically ill and wounded.
Russia has been a main backer of Syrian President Bashar Assad since the country’s conflict began seven years ago.
In 2015, Moscow joined the war on Mr Assad’s side tipping the balance of power in his favour.