Syrian regime forces have started a severe ground and air offensive in Eastern Ghouta, barely hours after UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution for a 30-day ceasefire. Assad’s forces have opened multiple fronts against the rebels in the suburbs surrounding Damascus. Shelling from airstrikes also continue for the eighth day.
As the firing continues the rebels are trying to hold their positions on multiple fronts. The primary aim of the ceasefire was to evacuate the civilians, the sick and the wounded in addition to easy passage to humanitarian aid. As per Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the week-long bombardment and siege of Eastern Ghouta had resulted in 500 casualties including 120 children and around 2000 wounded.
Eastern Ghouta is last rebel stronghold left in Syria and has been under siege of government forces since 2013. The forces are specifically targeting underground tunnels and hideouts.
The UN Resolution
The UN Ceasefire Resolution originally sponsored by Kuwait and Sweden was delayed many times due to the Russian veto. The negotiations regarding the wording of the resolution, in order to avoid the Russian veto, has caused the latest delay as it has failed to mention a specific time when the ceasefire will come into effect.
Steffan de Mistura, the special UN envoy for Syria has called for an urgent need of immediate ceasefire for putting an end to the relentless and heavy bombardment of Eastern Ghouta. UN and many international organisations have failed the people of Syria despite their expressed outrage at the number of civilian casualties.