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Hundreds killed despite Ghouta ceasefire, aid delivery "collapsed" — United Nations official

Hundreds killed despite Ghouta ceasefire, aid delivery

While it has stemmed the bloodshed, the "pause" declared by Russian Federation, which is Assad's main supporter, falls short of the 30-day ceasefire voted on Saturday by the UN Security Council. More fighting. More death.

The U.N. Security Council, including President Bashar Assad's strongest ally Russian Federation, passed a resolution on Saturday calling for a 30-day countrywide ceasefire.

The Foreign Secretary said Western countries could not "allow the use of illegal weapons to go unpunished" after reports of chlorine bombs being dropped on eastern Ghouta, an enclave near the capital of Damascus.

The first five-hour "pause" on Tuesday passed with only two killed in regime bombardment, according to the Britain-based war monitor. But no civilians have left, and no humanitarian aid has entered. The UN also wanted to send urgent medical and food supplies in.

AFP reporters saw no movement at the Wafideen checkpoint through which would-be evacuees were told to exit the Eastern Ghouta enclave that the government lost in 2012 and has besieged nearly ever since.

On Saturday, the United Nations approved a resolution demanding a 30-day ceasefire amid the Assad regime's assault on eastern Ghouta, with Russian support, where close to 400,000 civilians are trapped.

Johnson said he supported the US decision to fire cruise missile at Syrian government targets previous year after nearly 100 people, including children, were killed in a gas attack on the opposition-held town of Khan Sheikhoun.

During a news conference in Moscow Wednesday, Putin said "extremist forces" and representatives of "terrorist organizations" had prevented civilians from leaving. The Syrian army and rebel sources could not immediately be reached for comment on the report.

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"We offered to organize a humanitarian corridor to get children, wounded, all those who need help out of the region".

Kelley Currie, the U.S. ambassador for economic and social affairs, called a five-hour pause "cynical, callous, and in flagrant defiance of the demands" for a cessation of hostilities "for at least 30 days - every day, all day".

A senior USA general on Tuesday accused Moscow of acting as "both arsonist and firefighter" by failing to rein in Assad.

"When will your resolution be implemented?" he asked, staring fixedly at members of the UN Security Council, who listened in complete silence.

There were no airstrikes during Wednesday's five-hour ceasefire, but heavy bombardment resumed in the afternoon, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group reported. UK Deputy Ambassador Jonathan Allen said it was "wholly inadequate", and that there had been no letup in the bombing, nor had any aid workers been granted access to Eastern Ghouta. Should we continue to tolerate this?

United Nations agencies and the International Committee of the Red Cross said it did not meet the requirements for delivering an efficient aid response to the crisis inside Eastern Ghouta.

"It is impossible to bring a humanitarian convoy in five hours".

At least 14 people, including a rescue worker, were killed by regime attacks on Wednesday despite an internationally-brokered ceasefire agreement to secure the delivery of vital humanitarian aid to besieged civilians, the White Helmets civil defence group reported. "Today is not for talking", said Fran-ois Dellatre.

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