UN Ceasefire in Syria faces Russian block

As the disaster unfolds in Eastern Ghouta with untold humanitarian crisis due to continuous bombardment by the regime forces, in a violent campaign which has led to the killing of hundreds of civilians including children. UN humanitarian Chief Mark Lowcock has called the situation as a “humanitarian disaster unfolding before our eyes”.

Countries like Sweden and Kuwait are trying to get a vote passed on the resolution on a 30-day ceasefire and also allowing passage for aid. In addition, there was a demand for permitting the critically wounded to be evacuated from the besieged areas for proper medical care.

The Russian ambassador, however, forwarded a block by labelling the resolution as “completely unrealistic”. Russia has suggested amendments which dismisses an immediate ceasefire but forwards the demand that hostilities should be stopped by all parties and all should work towards an immediate reduction in violence without any conditions in addition to a 30-day humanitarian pause.

The Russian proposal also denounces fierce shelling from rebels in Eastern Ghouta on Damascus and the continued attempts by the rebels to retake more areas and also attack civilians and other civilian objects. Many diplomats have regarded the proposal as completely unacceptable. Russia has further accused the global news of completely covering the presence of thousands of rebels and Al-Qaeda militants who have taken refuge in schools and hospitals in the area and were continuously shelling Damascus. Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, in Belgrade, Serbia added that rebels and militants in the area were using civilians as human shields in the rebel-held suburbs. He stated that rebels had refused to act on Russian proposal to leave the area as a truce for the end of the governmental campaign.

Rebel groups in Eastern Ghouta have however expressed completely denied Russian assertions and in turn, have reportedly stated that Russians had refused the Al-Qaeda fighters to leave in November as their presence gave Russia a genuine pretext for a sweeping military strike. Although Russia has beefed up its military presence in Syria Kremlin has remained quiet on the situation. It has also overruled the allegations of an increase in civilian casualties in the strikes, but the rise in civilian deaths has led to a synchronous rise in public anger against Russian and Iranian presence on Syrian soils.

UN has called for the suspension of all war activities in the area. Russian forces are backing the Assad regime in the assault just as they did to drive rebels from Aleppo. German Chancellor Merkel has appealed to EU to put more pressure on Russia and Iran to put an immediate end to violence.


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