UN Calls for One-month Humanitarian Ceasefire in Syria

The UN urged an urgent humanitarian ceasefire in Syria to allow for aid delivery to civilians after Syrian regime airstrikes killed 33 people in the de-escalation zone of Eastern Ghouta.

Strikes on several locations in the besieged area east of the capital also wounded more than 100 people, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Reports of air strikes hitting at least three hospitals in the past 48 hours “make a mockery of so-called “de-escalation zones”, Paulo Pinheiro, head of the International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, said, referring to a Russian-led truce deal for rebel-held territory that has failed to stop fighting there.

He said the cessation of hostilities would enable the evacuation of the sick and wounded, listing seven areas of concern including northern Syria’s Kurdish-led Afrin region where Turkey is fighting the Kurdish YPG militia.

On the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime, Pinheiro said the commission had “alarmingly” received several reports that chlorine had been used in attacks on the towns of Saraqeb, in the northwestern Idlib Province, and Douma in Eastern Ghouta near Damascus.

UN war crimes experts said in Geneva that they were investigating multiple reports of bombs allegedly containing banned chlorine being used against civilians in the rebel-held towns of Saraqeb in the northwestern province of Idlib and Douma in Eastern Ghouta near Damascus.

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