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UN Security Council to vote on Syria ceasefire

UN Security Council to vote on Syria ceasefire

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday said he was "deeply alarmed" by the escalating violence in Syria's Eastern Ghouta enclave after more than 100 civilians were killed in the second straight day of air strikes.

Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said at least 72 children were among the 312 people killed in strikes since Sunday.

Information documented by his office alone showed at least 346 civilian deaths and 878 injuries, mostly from air strikes on residential areas, since the Syrian government and its allies escalated an offensive against the rebel-held enclave on February 4.

Residents in the rebel-held area outside Damascus say they are waiting for their "turn to die" after more than 290 people including dozens of children were killed since Sunday.

"[The fighting] has to stop, and humanitarian organizations should be allowed to go back to eastern Ghouta to deliver the much-needed and life-saving humanitarian aid as soon as possible", Sedky said.

He said reports were "misleading" adding: "You know what?" "People are in the shelters and shops are closed".

More than 340,000 people have been killed and millions driven from the homes in the war, which next month enters its eighth year with no end in sight.

"The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is calling for restraint and access to the wounded after the deadly escalation of fighting that has hit Damascus in recent days", the committee statement reads.

The global nature of Syria's conflict was also evident in Damascus' Ghouta on Wednesday, when the Russian government, which frequently carries out airstrikes in support of the Syrian government, denied it had been involved in this week's strikes.

Reuters photographs taken in eastern Ghouta on Wednesday showed men searching through the rubble of smashed buildings, carrying blood-smeared people to hospital and cowering in debris-strewn streets.

People have taken to social media platforms to slam the horrific bombardment of Eastern Ghouta, calling on worldwide powers and world leaders to step in.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday described as "groundless" accusations that Russian Federation bears some of the blame for civilian deaths in Eastern Ghouta.

"Where is Russian Federation and where is Iran, which announced in Astana that they would also ensure cease-fire in Eastern Ghouta?" he asked.

Now, Syrian regime forces are accelerating their offensive against the suburb, one of the last rebel-controlled areas in the country. "This is preliminary bombing", the commander said. In the first month of this year, almost 60 children were killed across Syria in violence in eastern Ghouta and other rebel-held enclaves, according to the U.N. The last U.N. aid convoy to reach eastern Ghouta was in November.

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