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Syria death toll rises despite UNSC resolution
February 26, 2018, 4:32 pm

Reports have emerged that the Syrian army sis preparing to launch a ground offensive in Eastern Ghouta [Xinhua]

Less than a day after the United Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2041 calling for an immediate ceasefire in Syria, fresh fighting has killed dozens, sources have said.

The UN estimates that at least 450 civilians have been killed in nine days of fighting.

On Monday, the Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a daily pause in fighting and the creation of a humanitarian corridor in a bid to bring relief to the 400,000 civilians seeking shelter in beseiged Eastern Ghouta.

“As ordered by the Russian president, a daily humanitarian pause from 09:00 to 14:00 (local time) is being introduced starting February 27 to avoid civilian casualties in East Ghouta,” the Russian Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

Also on Monday, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that US-led coalition airstrikes against Islamic State targets in the country’s eastern province of Deir a Zor killed 25 civilians.

Half of those killed were children, SOHR said.

The Syrian news agency SANA confirmed the SOHR report but said that the death toll was 29.

SOHR also said that it had documented 82 deaths, 54 of which were children, due to US-led coalition air raids against the Islamic State between February 1 and 22

Meanwhile, the Syrian Army shelled Eastern Ghouta on Sunday.

UN sources said that seven people were killed in the Sunday shelling.

UN sources said that the Syrian air force also launched several air raids as reports emerged that the Damascus government was about to launch a ground assault into the rebel-held area.

SANA also reported that a number of mortar shells were fired from Eastern Ghouta into the capital Damascus.

Eastern Ghouta is dominated by a myriad of Islamist rebel groups.

Two of the main groups have been recognized by Russia as parties to the peace talks in Astana, Khazakhstan.

But others, such as Al-Qaeda, Ahrar Al Sham, and Nusra Front, operate in the area and are targeted by the Syrian government and its allies.

Syria, Russia and Iran say that the UN Security Council Resolution does not prohibit them from pursuing these targets.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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