UN Ambassador Nikki Haley Calls Out Russia For Violating Syrian Ceasefire
13 March, 2018, 04:25 | Author: Brenda Erickson
An estimated 400,000 civilians, already starved from years of blockade, are trapped amid relentless air strikes.
Geneva- The massacres committed against unarmed civilians in the towns and villages of eastern Ghouta are horrific, says the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor and the Syrian Network for Human Rights in a joint statement.
Since Feb. 18, forces loyal to President Bashar Assad have retaken almost 60 percent of the enclave, whittling down rebel territory to three isolated pockets. Russian Federation blocked the renewal of a previous worldwide investigation in November.
France's envoy to the United Nations, Francois Delattre, on Monday urged Moscow to put pressure on its ally to halt the offensive, saying: "Russia can stop the bloodbath".
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has warned that if the Security Council fails to act on Syria, Washington is ready "to act if we must", just as it did previous year when it bombed a Syrian government air base over allegations of chemical weapons attack.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the council on March 12 that a cease-fire resolution adopted by the Security Council two weeks ago "has failed" as the Syrian government, backed by Russian Federation, stepped up its offensive in eastern Ghouta.
"Over the past two weeks, the Russian and Syrian regimes have been busy labeling every opposition group in eastern Ghouta a terrorist group", countered Haley. Government media reported the evacuations, noting that they were from Madyara, just retaken by regime troops.
The advance cut both Douma and another town from the rest of the rebel enclave.
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Residents were seen lining up at a butcher shop, whose owner had slaughtered a calf that he could fatten up no further because there was nothing left to feed it.
The conflict began after mass protests on March 15 2011, dragging in regional and global powers and forcing millions of people - more than half the pre-war population - to flee their homes.
Numerous people huddled in Douma's shelters had already fled from other parts of the enclave, some of them many times over to escape the ever-shifting front lines.
More than 19,800 children are among the dead, it said.
At least 1,162 civilians have been killed, including 241 children in the almost month-long offensive, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Reviewing his annual report at a Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, Zeid bin Ra'ad, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that the indiscriminate and brutal attacks against civilians in the eastern Ghouta can not be justified no matter what, dismissing the Syrian regime's false claims that it took precautions to protect civilians as "ridiculous", and stressing the need to take the matter to the International Criminal Court. Rebel mortar and rocket fire killed two civilians on Monday, according to state news agency SANA. He faulted foreign governments for supporting some rebels.
Syria's government was on Monday pursuing separate negotiation tracks over the three rebel-held pockets of eastern Ghouta, according to the Observatory and sources involved.
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