UN Security Council adopted unanimous resolution on Syria
All the countries represented in the UN Security Council, including the permanent member Russia, voted for a resolution of a ceasefire in Syria on Saturday.
After several days of tug-of-war, the Security Council demands a 30-day humanitarian ceasefire in East Ghouta to be implemented as soon as possible.
The resolution, presented by Sweden and Kuwait, has been the subject to intense negotiations. Several times the vote has been postponed.
Russia was initially opposed to voting for a resolution going against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but ultimately conceded after several changes in the draft.
Among other things, Sweden and Kuwait dropped the demand for a ceasefire to commence within 72 hours. Russia also obtained that the ceasefire will not to apply to ISIS or al-Qaeda.
Russia’s UN ambassador, Vasilij Nebenzia, had repeatedly insisted that an immediate ceasefire is unrealistic.
Russia has also demanded that the rebels must respect the ceasefire. They have refused to yield and have continued to send rockets towards Damascus, where 25 civilians have been killed the last week and a half.
Sweden’s UN ambassador, Olof Skoog, said during the debate that UN trucks are ready to enter into East Ghouta with humanitarian aid and to evacuate the sick and injured.
500 killed in a week
More than 500 people, including 127 children, have been killed and around 2,400 wounded in seven days of intense air strikes against East Ghouta, where 400,000 people have been besieged for several years. UN Secretary General António Guterres has described the situation as being hell on earth.
As late as Saturday, while the resolution draft was still discussed in New York, at least 32 people were killed and several tens others were wounded in new waves of air strikes against the suburb of Damascus where the rebels are still holding on, according to the exile group SOHR.
The bombing on Saturday started immediately after the Security Council once more postponed the vote on the resolution. Within a few hours at least 140 missiles were used against different parts of Eastern parts of Ghouta.
Russia has been one of Assad’s most important supporters for several years, and activists in East Ghouta say Russian aircraft have participated in air offensive last week.
The intense bombing has overstretched rescue crews and doctors in the temporary hospitals that are still in operation.
Terrified residents hide in tiny basements and underground shelters where there is no room for more people.
– There is no electricity, no water, no flour, no bread and no milk for the children, says medical assistant Siraj Mahmoud on a video where he asks for a short break in order for people to obtain food for the children.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today