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Iran says Ghouta assault to continue after UN ceasefire call

  • Published at 03:06 am February 26th, 2018
Iran says Ghouta assault to continue after UN ceasefire call
Iran said pro-Damascus forces would press ahead with attacks on an insurgent enclave near the Syrian capital, as ground fighting raged on there after a UN resolution demanding a 30-day truce across the country. Rebels said they clashed with pro-government forces on Sunday, as rescuers and residents said warplanes struck some towns in the eastern Ghouta pocket. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said air strikes and artillery killed nine people and injured 31 in the eastern suburbs. Iranian General Mohammad Baqeri, whose government backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said Tehran and Damascus would respect the UN resolution. But the Iranian military chief of staff also said the truce did not cover parts of the Damascus suburbs “held by the terrorists,” the Tasnim news agency said. Several ceasefires have unravelled quickly during the seven-year war in Syria, where Assad’s military has gained the upper hand with the help of Iran and Russia. The UN resolution on Saturday followed seven straight days of bombing by pro-government forces on eastern Ghouta, in one of the bloodiest offensives of the war. The Security Council voted unanimously to demand the truce to allow for aid access and medical evacuations. Yet while Moscow supported adopting the resolution, Russian UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia cast doubt on its feasibility.