UN Chief demands immediate end to fighting in Syria


The UN Security Council will vote at 11:00 a.m. local time (1600 GMT) Friday on a draft resolution calling for a 30-day truce in Syria, diplomatic sources said Thursday night.

A draft of the resolution says the United Nations is outraged at the "unacceptable levels of violence" seen in the past few days in the Ghouta district of Damascus and Idlib province.

A man holds the body of a lifeless child after airstrikes rock Syria's Eastern Ghouta. via Twitter. "Cessations can not be established by putting a word in the resolution", he noted.

"If adopted, this resolution would entail decisive and meaningful action that would make a difference on the ground for the civilian population in Syria". "The political path to the crisis solution must be taken seriously, in accordance with the agreed principles of the Geneva Declaration 1 and the UN Security Council Resolution 2254", it added.

"As we helped the brotherly Syrian people, we tested over 200 new types of weapons", said Vladimir Shamanov, a former commander of Russia's airborne troops who now serves as head of the Russian Duma's defence committee.

He said there was a "mass psychosis by global media" making the current situation into another Aleppo - another Syrian city that had been pummeled by airstrikes and firepower as pro-Syrian forces wrested control from ISIS, finally capturing it late a year ago.

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"We call on all their backers, including Russian Federation, to ensure that the violence stops, and that those people who are need of help are given that help".

The armed groups in Ghouta have also fired rockets and mortar rounds on civilian areas in the capital, which is under government control, killing at least 16 over the same period. "This is the only thing I can say", said Bilal Abu Salah, 22, whose wife is five months pregnant with their first child in the biggest Eastern Ghouta town Douma.

Russian Federation and Syria are "on notice" after stepped-up airstrikes by President Bashar Assad's forces and allies from Moscow on the country's last remaining rebel strongholds killed 28 civilians this week, White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah said Thursday.

Russia's amendments would rule out an immediate cease-fire and instead demanded that all parties "stop hostilities as soon as possible", and "work for an immediate and unconditional de-escalation of violence" and 30-day "humanitarian pause".

UN Humanitarian Affairs official Mark Lowcock yesterday told members of the council they can still save lives in Syria. He added that according to some sources, the total death toll since 19 February was close to 300 people. "We bought two small tins of cheese and we got seven flat rounds of bread today", said Bilal Issa, 25.

Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres said on Wednesday 13 hospitals had been hit and damaged or destroyed in the past three days.