UNSC adopts resolution on cease-fire in Syria

Aaron Brown
March 1, 2018

Signalling the war remained a top focus of world leaders, the Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin and French and German counterparts Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel spoke by phone and discussed the ceasefire's implementation.

Security Council members must be prepared to take action to enforce the upcoming cessation of hostilities, or risk further undermining the reputation of the Council.

Ms Merkel and Mr Macron argued that a ceasefire also would offer a basis to move forward the United Nations brokered effort to find a political solution in Syria.

The continuation of violence comes as a massive disappointment to the UN.

"As they dragged out the negotiation, the bombs from Assad's fighter jets continued to fall".

The draft resolution would pave the way for the truce to go into effect 72 hours after the adoption of the measure and for aid deliveries and medical evacuations to begin 48 hours after that.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the fresh eruption of conflict in the area, which began February 18, has so far left more than 500 civilians dead, of whom 121 are children.

"The resolution that is on the table, we are ready to look at it, but we have offered very precise phrasing that would say that the ceasefire would under no circumstances extend to ISIL, Jabhat al-Nusra and those groups cooperating with them and systemically attacking the residential neighborhoods of Damascus", Lavrov said.

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Turkey launched an assault last month on Afrin, seeking to drive out the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia which it deems a menace along its border. Rebels and troops have clashed with each others around the enclave in recent weeks. There was no immediate reaction from Damascus.

Nikki Haley, the United States ambassador to the UN, while addressing the UNSC after the voting, criticised Russian Federation for delaying the meeting saying it had "belatedly chose to join the global consensus". Neither did it say how a ceasefire would be enforced, how the injured would be evacuated, or how returning aid workers would be protected.

The resolution was delayed several times in an effort to get Russia's approval. He later told reporters it was unrealistic to expect an immediate ceasefire and that the parties had to be encouraged to work for it.

"The event of Jesus who transfigures himself on the mountain also helps us to better understand his resurrection", the Pope said, explaining that if the transfiguration and God's declaration that "this is my beloved Son" had not happened before Jesus' Passion, neither this nor Jesus' rising in the Paschal mystery would be easily understood.

Previous ceasefire deals on the ground have had a poor record of ending fighting in Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad's military has gained the upper hand.

In 2015, Moscow joined the war on Mr Assad's side tipping the balance of power in his favour. The dead included more than 120 children.

Warplanes pounded the rebel enclave yesterday, in a fierce escalation by Damascus and its allies, an emergency service, a witness and a monitoring group said.

State media said insurgents breached the truce by firing 15 shells Sunday on government-held areas on the edge of Ghouta.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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