European Union urges Russia, Turkey, Iran to uphold ceasefire in eastern Ghouta

Civilians stay put despite'truce in Syria's Ghouta

A Syrian man cycles past destroyed buildings in the rebel-held town of Hamouria, in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus. After the announcement of ceasefire, a large number of ordinary people started coming out of the city.

No casualties at all were reported when Wednesday's window closed at 2:00 pm (1200 GMT) but warplanes were back in the sky moments later.

AFP reporters saw no movement at the Wafideen checkpoint through which would-be evacuees were told to exit the Eastern Ghouta enclave that the government lost in 2012 and has besieged nearly ever since. "Russian Federation does not get to unilaterally rewrite the terms of the resolution they negotiated and they sat here and voted for".

The campaign has been deemed largely successful by experts in that it has helped the Syrian government to push terrorists out of many areas.

"Eastern Ghouta is devoid of respect for global law".

"Over 580 people since 18 February are now reported to have been killed due to air- and ground-based strikes in eastern Ghouta, with well over 1,000 people injured", he said. Its price was paid by the lives of 500 people.

And a 30-day truce called for by the UN Security Council has so far failed to stop the bloodshed. Few civilians back then initially used the Aleppo corridors unilaterally announced by Russian Federation.

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Meanwhile, top United Nations official said on Wednesday that about 40 lorries were loaded and ready to deliver relief aid to Eastern Ghouta, but fighting in the area has not stopped despite a United Nations ceasefire resolution.

Jeffrey Feltman, UN under secretary-general for political affairs, expressed frustration over the council's inaction.

United Nations satellite analysis has shown significant damage across much of eastern Ghouta since December 3, though the enclave has been subjected to regular bombardment throughout the conflict.

The Chinese military has released an analysis of a new, deadly stage in the ongoing war in Syria, where it has chosen to side with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Beijing developed powerful weapons and held exercises meant to show off the country's growing might.

Fighting has escalated on several fronts in Syria this year. While China was not believed to be actively fighting for Assad, it has offered the Syrian leader diplomatic support even as Western powers called for his departure.

He highlighted the plight of people in Raqa, which was the Islamic State group's de facto capital in Syria until it was liberated last October. Since then, more than 3,00,000 people have been killed in Syria. He was sharply critical of the West, and especially the United States, for fancying themselves as "champions of humanity" and saying a cease-fire depends nearly entirely on Russian Federation and Syria. Iran wants to increase the influence of the Shia community in Syria. At the same time, the USA, which was crushing the Islamic State with the help of the Kurds, is still standing with Kurdish fighters.

Considered a symbol of resistance to Syria's Assad regime, "Baby Karim" - who lost one eye to a regime airstrike - has taken shelter underground to survive. Turkey is attacking strong strongholds of Kurdistan in northern Syria.

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