‘Hell on earth’ in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta must stop: UN chief

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Geneva, Feb 26 (IANS) The head of the UN on Monday demanded that a 30-day ceasefire in Syria drafted by the Security Council should come into effect and called for an end to the “hell on earth” in Eastern Ghouta, a rebel-held Damascus suburb that has been the target of an intense bombing campaign in recent days.

Opening a Human Rights Council at the UN’s Geneva office, Antonio Guterres commended the adoption of the resolution but warned that it would only serve its purpose if it was properly implemented, particularly with regard to Eastern Ghouta, Efe news reported.

Last week, over 500 people were killed by airstrikes and shelling conducted by forces loyal to the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.

“Eastern Ghouta cannot wait, it is high time to stop this hell on earth,” Guterres told the Council, pleading for a facilitation of humanitarian aid deliveries and evacuations of sick and wounded from the besieged network of small towns and satellite cities mere kilometres from Damascus, where roughly 400,000 people are estimated to live.

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The UN’s Security Council adopted the ceasefire resolution late Saturday evening, but intense hostilities in Eastern Ghouta continued unabated.

–IANS

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