Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

UN passes Syria ceasefire resolution as bombardment death toll in eastern Ghouta 'exceeds 500'

  • Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen

A resolution calling for a 30-day ceasefire in Syria has been passed by the UN Security Council after the death toll from bombing of rebel-held eastern Ghouta exceeded 500.

The Council approved the humanitarian ceasefire, initially held up by Russia, saying it should be implemented "without delay".

It is now hoped humanitarian aid can be delivered to millions and that critically ill and wounded people can be evacuated.

Days of government bombardment in eastern Ghouta have now left 510 civilians dead, observers fear.

Nearly 130 children and 75 women were among those killed in the strikes which have been ongoing since last Sunday.

Fresh bombing on Saturday killed at least 22 people and left dozens wounded, while many hospitals and medical centres have been damaged in the process.

Airstrikes on eastern Ghouta have been ongoing since last Sunday. Credit: AP

Earlier this week, a UN official described the people of eastern Ghouta as living "in hell on earth", but Syria's ambassador to the UN denied the Assad regime was killing its own people.

The UN resolution was delayed on Friday after Russia did not agree to a demand that the ceasefire take effect in 72 hours.

Russia argued that an immediate ceasefire was unrealistic and the caveat was eventually dropped.

After the motion passed, Sweden's UN ambassador said: "The UN convoys and evacuation teams are ready to go."

The bombardment of eastern Ghouta has forced many people into hiding in underground shelters with little food and medical supplies as a government siege continues.

  • US accuses Russia of purposefully delaying vote

Syrian opposition activists claim Russian warplanes are taking part in bombarding eastern Ghouta, a suburban area of the capital Damascus.

Other activists also claim government forces used phosphorous bombs in their latest attacks.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that 510 civilians have now died in the week-long bombardment.

The White Helmets said it has documented the names of 420 people who have been killed since Sunday, adding that dozens more have still not been identified.

Russia has been the main backer of Syrian president Bashar Assad since the conflict began seven years ago.