Poland ready to send humanitarian aid to eastern Ghouta

Cheryl Sanders
February 23, 2018

At the UN, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said sponsors Sweden and Kuwait were requesting a vote on the ceasefire plan even though they are "fully aware there is no agreement on it".

"Every time when such terrorist attacks start from the area of Eastern Ghouta, we know that behind them is Jabhat al-Nusra and terrorist organizations that cooperate with it and each time we ask from the Security Council to give a principle-based assessment about these unacceptable terrorist acts".

Eastern Ghouta, an enclave of Damascus, has been under fierce bombardment from Syrian government forces backed by Russian air power.

Eyes were on Moscow, and whether President Bashar al-Assad's veto-wielding ally would support the Security Council's draft ceasefire resolution, block it, or seek to water it down in a way that would let bombing go on.

"The assault from the regime is relentless, and the suffering is overwhelming".

"This call also goes for the allies of the Assad regime, especially Iran and Russian Federation".

White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said the United States was monitoring the situation and had put the Assad regime as well as Russian Federation "on notice".

"There must now be a sustained cessation of hostilities enabling immediate, safe, unimpeded and sustained deliveries of humanitarian aid, evacuation of the critically sick and wounded and an alleviation of the suffering of the Syrian people", said Mark Lowcock, UN Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator.

Bishop Declan Lang has called the killing of civilians in the besieged area of eastern Ghouta in Damascus a "grievous offence to our common humanity" and criticised the worldwide community for failing to protect innocent people over seven years of war, conflict and turmoil in Syria. "Assad and his deplorable regime must stop committing additional atrocities and must not be further abetted by backers in Moscow and Tehran", it said.

"It is simply preposterous to claim that these attacks on civilians have anything to do with fighting terrorism", Haley said. "As the Secretary-General warned us all, 'eastern Ghouta can not wait'".

Iran, Turkey, Russia, the USA, the militant group Hezbollah and Persian Gulf nations are among the entities on the ground, either with their own forces or through proxies.

French President Emmanuel Macron, meanwhile, accused the Assad regime of using the fight against terrorism as a "pretext" to target civilians and its opponents and called for a humanitarian truce to allow the evacuation of injured civilians as soon as possible.

In eastern Ghouta, medical workers said they hadn't been able to see their families for days as they worked round the clock at hospitals that have been moved underground to protect them from bombing, while their spouses and children stay in shelters. "Is Russia listening? I'm not sure that they are".

When they ventured back to the site, the woman was dead.

Other reports by iNewsToday