Syria: Three killed, 15 injured as Damascus targeted by E. Ghouta armed groups — reports

Men, woman and children were seen rushing away from the site of an alleged shelling attack in the Salaheddin area of Rukn Eddin neighborhood in Damascus, where according to reports, at least three people were killed and 15 injured on Friday. Smoke rose from the place of the reported shelling with debris lying strewn across the site. Media cited the Damascus Countryside Police Command saying... Еще that the attack was launched by armed groups located in Eastern Ghouta. The Syrian Arab Army reportedly responded with retaliatory attacks, also resulting in deaths and the loss of weapons. On Wednesday, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for the «immediate suspension of all war activities in Eastern Ghouta» during a UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting in New York City. “I am deeply saddened by the terrible suffering of the civilian population in Eastern Ghouta; 400,000 people that live in hell on earth,» he said. “I know that very important consultations are taking place in this Council, aiming at a cessation of hostilities during one month in Syria, with a number of conditions, and of course I fully support that effort, but I believe Eastern Ghouta cannot wait,” Guterres continued. A ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta would allow for «humanitarian aid to reach all those in need, allowing for the evacuation of an estimated 700 people that need urgent treatment that cannot be provided there,» Guterres stated. On Thursday, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) attempted to vote on a draft resolution to enact a 30-day ceasefire across Syria, which was intended to allow emergency aid to be delivered to areas such as the Ghouta. The vote however was unsuccessful as Russia proposed that amendments still needed to be made. Russia's UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said that the resolution as it stands was “simply unrealistic” and that all parties must be consulted before a ceasefire is able to go ahead. Nebenzia added that the recent media reports on the situation in Syria's Eastern Ghouta were a product of 'mass psychosis', adding that militants there are using civilians as human shields. «The Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties urged illegal groups to lay down arms and formalise their status, but they disrupted the talks yesterday, on February 21,» Nebenzya said. US Representative Kelley E. Currie urged the council to approve the resolution and heavily criticised the Syrian and Russian governments: «The Assad regime wants to bomb or starve all of their opponents into submission...the regime wants to keep bombing and gassing these 400,000 people, and the Assad regime is counting on Russia to make sure this Security Council is unable to stop their suffering.» Currie applauded the efforts by Kuwait and Sweden and other Security Council members for their proposal for a 30-day ceasefire «to allow for deliveries of food and medicine to arrive» and urged the council to approve it. The UNSC are set to vote again on Friday, February 23. For the vote to be successful, nine votes of approval must be given without any vetoes from the US, Britain, France, Russia or China.

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