Published: Thu, March 08, 2018
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United Nations chief urges Syria parties to begin ceasefire

United Nations chief urges Syria parties to begin ceasefire

Government troops have advanced rapidly across farmland in Eastern Ghouta in the past week, a monitor says, and as of early yesterday controlled 40 per cent of the enclave, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Claims from President Bashar al Assad that his forces are doing all it can to protect civilians in the two-week-old offensive on eastern Ghouta are "frankly ridiculous", human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said on Wednesday.

Syrian regime's is orchestrating an "apocalypse" that will strike elsewhere following the devastating crisis unfolding in the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta, the United Nations human rights chief said on Wednesday.

Zolotukhin said anti-government fighters and their families are being allowed passage during certain hours in the daytime.

A United Nations convoy delivered food and medicine to the town of Douma on Monday, but aid agencies say Syrian authorities blocked numerous health supplies, including trauma and surgical kits as well as insulin.

In the latest attempt to end the seven-year war, the foreign ministers of government allies Iran and Russian Federation and rebel backer Turkey are to meet next week in Astana.

Moscow and Damascus say the Ghouta campaign is necessary to halt rebel shelling of the capital.

The Syrian American Medical Society charity, which supports several hospitals in eastern Ghouta, gave a slightly lesser death toll from the Observatory, saying 79 people were killed.

Home to some 400,000 people, Eastern Ghouta has remained under a crippling regime siege for the last five years.

The U.N.'s humanitarian affairs office says in a Twitter posting on Monday that the convoy of trucks is carrying health and nutrition supplies, along with food for 27,500 people in need.

"And that's the biggest problem of this convoy - what we have done was to bring very little for people to survive for a very short period of time".

The United Nations resident and humanitarian coordinator in Syria Ali al-Za'tari sent the letter to Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad on Tuesday according to a copy seen by Reuters. The air and ground assault, supposedly aimed at a few militants in Eastern Ghouta, continued while the convoy moved through rubbled streets.

A man stands on the rubble of a damaged building at the besieged town of Douma, Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, Syria March 5, 2018.

France says the U.N. Security Council will meet Wednesday to discuss the failure to implement its February 24 resolution demanding a cease-fire "without delay" in Syria. "The people sit with multiple families, with thousands of families in basement shelters", he said.

An global aid convoy cut short its mission to Eastern Ghouta after delivering desperately needed aid as the regime pounded the region on Monday. The goal of the operation is clear Turkey's Syrian border from the terrorist threat.

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