Wednesday 20 June 2018

Airstrikes on Syrian capital claim more lives

Saturday’s bombardment comes after the UN Security Council delayed a vote on a resolution demanding a 30-day humanitarian ceasefire across Syria

The UN is due to vote on a ceasefire (Mary Altaffer/AP)
The UN is due to vote on a ceasefire (Mary Altaffer/AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

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.

A vote is scheduled for later on Saturday.

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.

In this photo released on Wednesday Feb. 21, 2018, provided by the Syrian anti-government activist group Ghouta Media Center, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Syrian paramedics treat a kids who was wounded during airstrikes and shelling by Syrian government forces, at a makeshift hospital, in Ghouta, suburb of Damascus, Syria. (Ghouta Media Center via AP)
In this photo released on Wednesday Feb. 21, 2018, provided by the Syrian anti-government activist group Ghouta Media Center, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Syrian paramedics treat a kids who was wounded during airstrikes and shelling by Syrian government forces, at a makeshift hospital, in Ghouta, suburb of Damascus, Syria. (Ghouta Media Center via AP)
A man digs a shelter under the house of Bilal Issa in the besieged eastern Ghouta town of Hamouriyeh near Damascus, Syria, February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh/File Photo
Mohammed Abu Anas runs with an injured boy in the besieged eastern Ghouta town of Hamouriyeh near Damascus, Syria, February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh/File Photo
People carry a body on a stretcher as they walk on rubble of damaged buildings in the rebel-held besieged town of Hamouriyeh, eastern Ghouta, near Damascus, Syria, February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh
This photo released on Wednesday Feb. 21, 2018 provided by the Syrian anti-government activist group Ghouta Media Center, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows a Syrian paramedic, treats a kids who was wounded during airstrikes and shelling by Syrian government forces, at a makeshift hospital, in Ghouta, suburb of Damascus, Syria. (Ghouta Media Center via AP)
In this photo released on Wednesday Feb. 21, 2018, provided by the Syrian anti-government activist group Ghouta Media Center, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Syrian citizens carry a victim during airstrikes and shelling by Syrian government forces, in Ghouta, suburb of Damascus, Syria. (Ghouta Media Center via AP)
A man carries an injured boy as he walks on rubble of damaged buildings in the rebel held besieged town of Hamouriyeh, eastern Ghouta, near Damascus, Syria, February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh TEMPLATE OUT
People carry the body of Majid Santiha on a stretcher in the besieged eastern Ghouta town of Hamouriyeh near Damascus, Syria, February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh/File Photo
A rescue worker holds an injured girl in the rebel held besieged town of Hamouriyeh, eastern Ghouta, near Damascus, Syria February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh
This photo released on Wednesday Feb. 21, 2018 provided by the Syrian anti-government activist group Ghouta Media Center, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows a Syrian young girl who was wounded during airstrikes and shelling by Syrian government forces, cries at a makeshift hospital, in Ghouta, suburb of Damascus, Syria. (Ghouta Media Center via AP)
Member of the Syrian Civil Defense group carries a boy who was wounded during airstrikes and shelling by Syrian government forces, in Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, Syria. . (Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP)
Two Syrian kids who were wounded during airstrikes and shelling by Syrian government forces, sit at a makeshift hospital, in Ghouta, suburb of Damascus, Syria. (Ghouta Media Center via AP)
An injured man lies on a bed in the rebel held besieged town of Hamouriyeh, eastern Ghouta, near Damascus, Syria, February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh

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.

Press Association

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