United Nations chief wants Syria ceasefire 'immediately'

Syria shelling

Syria shelling

The two major rebel factions in Syria's eastern Ghouta welcomed on Saturday a United Nations resolution demanding a 30-day truce across the country to allow aid access and medical evacuations.

Speaking in the Council after the vote, United States Permanent Representative Nikki Haley lashed out at Russian Federation saying that during the time it held up the resolution to change a "few words and some commas", mothers lost their children to bombing and shelling.

U.S. ambassador to the UN Nicky Haley called for the ceasefire to be implemented immediately, but said she was sceptical that Syria would comply.

New air strikes on the Syrian rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta on Saturday took the civilian death toll from seven days of devastating bombardment to more than 500.

In another concession to Russian Federation, the draft also specifies that the ceasefire will not apply to operations against the Islamic State group or al-Qaeda, along with "individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated" with the blacklisted terror groups.

To avoid a Russian veto, Security Council members were forced to significantly water down the original text of the temporary ceasefire resolution. "There is no need to dig graves, we will be buried under our houses". A group in Syria showing their support were arrested and tortured by the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, prompting thousands to protest.

However, the Syrian regime has also used the term "terror group" in reference to both Islamist militias and the rebel factions it is targeting in eastern Ghouta, suggesting the resolution could prove to be a dead letter.

More news: What's Mobile World Congress and what to expect from it
More news: Mark Janus Reveals Why He's Fighting Forced Union Dues
More news: Huddersfield sink West Brom deeper into trouble with win

Around 400,000 people are in hiding as the Damascus suburbs have been pounded with shells, mortars and bombs since Sunday night.

Fighting has escalated there, as the Syrian military and its allied forces appear to be launching an all-out operation to retake the district, which is one of the last near Damascus still under control of the armed opposition.

"There were certainly changes made [to the resolution] on Thursday after the Security Council meeting", he said.

More than 520 people have been killed and 2,500 wounded since Sunday in the relentless bombardment of Eastern Ghouta, according to a statement from Doctors Without Borders, or Médecins Sans Frontières. It says 513 civilians, including 127 children, have been killed over the past week.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for the warring sides to honor the temporary truce.

Condemning the Syrian regime for targeting "its own people", Ms Merkel said: "The killing of children, the destruction of hospitals - all that amounts to a massacre that must be condemned and which must be countered with a clear no".

Recommended News

  • Jaguars, Blake Bortles Agree to 3-Year Deal

    Jaguars, Blake Bortles Agree to 3-Year Deal

    Bortles showed signs of progress in his fourth year despite playing 19 games with a wrist injury that required surgery last month. Still, with a Bortles in the hand, the Jaguars have a chance to chase a Cousins or a McCarron or even a Brees in the bush.
    U.S.  curlers' first gold medals were the wrong ones

    U.S. curlers' first gold medals were the wrong ones

    Team Shuster went on to win the US Championships in 2015, beating teams from the USA Curling high performance program. The only other USA medal in curling was a bronze, won by the American men's team at the 2006 Winter Olympics.
    Latvian central bank governor denies bribery allegations

    Latvian central bank governor denies bribery allegations

    But he did not provide any further details or comment on the ABLV case. The episode is Latvia's biggest financial difficulty in a decade.
  • China tells United States  to stop unilateral North Korea actions

    China tells United States to stop unilateral North Korea actions

    More than 50 ships and shipping companies were cited by the Treasury Department for evading existing USA and worldwide sanctions. President Donald Trump is expected to address the new penalties Friday at a conservative gathering in Washington .
    Gov. Scott announces plan on school safety

    Gov. Scott announces plan on school safety

    He added that the department's training "paid off" and his officers did exactly what he hoped they would do in that situation. A post to the Facebook page created for the walk out simply states: "We are Westfield High School students".
    Watford widen gap from relegation zone with Everton win

    Watford widen gap from relegation zone with Everton win

    Sam Allardyce blamed Everton's 1-0 defeat at Watford on his players after insisting their inability to finish had cost them. We've got West Brom next week and there's no point winning one and losing three or four.
  • After shooting, Florida to station police officer at every school

    After shooting, Florida to station police officer at every school

    The Missouri State Teachers Association, which represents more than 47,000 teachers across the state, supports that method. Armed teachers in the hall would slow them down and increase the risk to both teachers and law enforcement officers.

    EOG Resources Inc (EOG) Shares Sold by Suntrust Banks Inc

    Want to see what other hedge funds are holding EOG? (NYSE:EOG). 1.96M are owned by Schwab Charles Investment Mgmt Inc. (NYSE:EOG). The regular session started at $107.65 but as the trading went on, the stock receded, ending the session with a fall of -1.99%.
    Former Trump campaign manager charged for paying former European politicians

    Former Trump campaign manager charged for paying former European politicians

    In court filings over the past few months, Gates gradually began to show the strain the case was placing on him and his family. Gates' plea poses the biggest immediate risk to Manafort, who was also the former's longtime business partner.
  • Andrew Lincoln Performs a Song for a Departing WALKING DEAD Cast Member

    Andrew Lincoln Performs a Song for a Departing WALKING DEAD Cast Member

    The storyline of the show is getting the thumbs up from experts but not from the audience mainly because of what happened to Carl. Carl revealed to Rick in the drama's mid-season finale that he had been fatally bitten in the side by a walker.
    Teacher, IU alumna from Parkland speaks on campus

    Teacher, IU alumna from Parkland speaks on campus

    Scott called for keeping guns away from violent and mentally ill people and providing more funds for mental health programs. School officials said students will never again set foot in the structure where freshmen took classes.
    Schools need 'offensive capability,' federal funds to train armed teachers

    Schools need 'offensive capability,' federal funds to train armed teachers

    Gun store owner Jake Belemjian supports Trump's idea but says not every teacher needs to hide and carry to stop a mass shooting. What can we do to help you feel safe?" and "5. "There is nothing more important than the safety of our children", Scott said.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.