Russia says humanitarian ceasefire in Syria 'unrealistic'

People and cars are seen in old town in Aleppo, Syria Feb. 8, 2018.(Reuters)
Updated 08 February 2018
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Russia says humanitarian ceasefire in Syria 'unrealistic'

UNITED NATIONS: Russia on Thursday dismissed as "unrealistic" a UN appeal for a month-long humanitarian ceasefire in Syria, where four days of government raids have killed scores of civilians.
"That is not realistic," Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told reporters.
"We would like to see a ceasefire, the end of the war, but the terrorists, I am not sure, are in agreement," he said.
The UN Security Council met behind closed doors to discuss the worsening humanitarian crisis in Syria as the death toll from a four-day assault on Eastern Ghouta soared past 200.
Sweden and Kuwait requested the talks after the UN humanitarian coordinator for Syria, Panos Moumtzis, called for the month-long ceasefire in order to reach civilians in need.
Russia has repeatedly blocked action in the council that would target its Syrian ally.
French Ambassador Francois Delattre called for a strong response from the council, appealing for an immediate ceasefire and unhindered access for aid agencies.
"Eastern Ghouta is experiencing a Middle Ages-style siege. That is totally unacceptable," Delattre told reporters.
"In Syria, we are now back to the darkest period of this conflict, with the highest death toll among civilians over the last year," he deplored.
The United States demanded an end to the air strikes, with the State Department saying in Washington: "These attacks must end now."
UN aid officials accuse the Syrian government of blocking all aid convoys to besieged areas in January.
More than 13.1 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian aid, including 6.1 million who have been displaced within the country during the nearly seven-year war.


US-led coalition destroys Syrian mosque used as Daesh command center

Smoke billows after bombings in the Deir Ezzor province, near Hajin, eastern Syria, on December 15, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 34 min 43 sec ago
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US-led coalition destroys Syrian mosque used as Daesh command center

  • Daesh lost nearly all the territory it once held in Syria last year in separate offensives by the US-backed SDF on the one hand, and the Russian-backed Syrian army on the other

WASHINGTON: The US-led coalition in Syria destroyed on Saturday a mosque in the town of Hajjin which had been used as a Daesh command and control center, the US military said.
Hajjin is the last big town that the Daesh holds in its remaining enclave east of the Euphrates River. The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, spearheaded by the Kurdish militia, have battled to eliminate the militants there for several months.
The US coalition said that 16 heavily armed Daesh fighters were using the mosque as a base to attack. “This strike killed these terrorists who presented an imminent threat, and eliminated another deadly Daesh operational capability from the battlefield,” the US military said in a statement.
Lilwa Al-Abdallah, spokeswoman for the offensive in eastern Deir Ezzor province, said on Friday that the coalition would soon re-take Hajjin.
Daesh lost nearly all the territory it once held in Syria last year in separate offensives by the US-backed SDF on the one hand, and the Russian-backed Syrian army on the other.