Compromise on Syria ceasefire resolution eluding UNSC

Bassam Khabieh  ReutersPeople inspect missile remains in the besieged town of Douma in eastern Ghouta Syria Feb. 23 2018

Bassam Khabieh ReutersPeople inspect missile remains in the besieged town of Douma in eastern Ghouta Syria Feb. 23 2018

The proposal calls for a ceasefire to distribute humanitarian aid in Syria nationwide and the medical evacuation of 700 people particularly in East Ghouta, which is under the siege of the Bashar al-Assad regime.

"There are no guarantees that [the rebels] will not continue shooting at Damascus residential areas", he told a briefing.

A vote, if passed, would pave the way for the truce to go into effect 72 hours after the adoption of the measure, and for aid deliveries and medical evacuations to begin 48 hours after that.

Sweden's ambassador to the UN, Olof Skoog, said he too was frustrated by the delays but that members are working really hard to find "a meaningful but consensual resolution".

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"The United States strongly condemns recent attacks on the people of Syria in Eastern Ghouta by Russian Federation and the Assad regime".

"We refuse categorically any initiative that includes getting the residents out of their homes and moving them elsewhere", Ghouta rebel factions wrote in a letter to the Security Council yesterday. The Syrian military, backed by the Russian air force and a handful of Iran-backed militias, has launched a violent campaign to retake Ghouta from the rebels. During this time, killed at least 416 people, more than 2,100 people were injured.

On Thursday, the Syrian helicopters dropped leaflets over Eastern Ghouta, urging the civilians to leave the area and not to cooperate with the rebels.

"We're still working on the language of some of the paragraphs, but we're nearly there", Kuwait's UN Ambassador Mansour Ayyad Al-Otaibi said. Another resident, in the town of Hamouriyeh, said the assault had continued "like the other days".

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A man carries an injured child as he walks on rubble of damaged buildings in the besieged town of Hamouriyeh, Eastern Ghouta on February 21. Reports of numerous civilian casualties have been surfacing over the past week. The emergency service, which operates in rebel territory, says it has pulled out hundreds of people from under rubble in recent days.

Damascus and Moscow say they only target militants, and that they aim to prevent rebels from firing mortars at the capital.

The Syrian National Coalition on Friday urged the United Nations to take action to end the Bashar Assad regime's massacres in Eastern Ghouta. "More than 23,000 civilians have been killed in Eastern Ghouta since 2012, over 32 hospitals and health centers have been destroyed, and 1.7 million civilians have been displaced", Aksoy said.

It also specifies that the ceasefire will not apply to "individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated" with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

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He added that the militias were forced to go back after artillery shooting. Kalin also denied that pro-Damascus forces crossed into the Afrin region.

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