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'Question of Life and Death': UN Calls for End to Fighting in Eastern Ghouta

© REUTERS / Bassam KhabiehSmoke rises from the rebel held besieged town of Hamouriyeh, eastern Ghouta, near Damascus, Syria, February 21, 2018
Smoke rises from the rebel held besieged town of Hamouriyeh, eastern Ghouta, near Damascus, Syria, February 21, 2018 - Sputnik International
Fighting in the Syrian region of Eastern Ghouta, located on the outskirts of Damascus, continues despite the adoption of the United Nations Security Council resolution 2401, which demands the parties of Syria’s conflict to cease fire without delay for at least 30 consecutive days.

“Fighting [in Eastern Ghouta] continues this morning. We have reports of shelling in Eastern Ghouta as well as reports of shelling towards Damascus from the region that was reported last night,” UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) spokesman Jens Laerke stated during a press briefing Tuesday.

According to the spokesperson, the UN aid convoys are ready to be sent to several areas of Eastern Ghouta as soon as possible.

“The UN is mobilized and ready to immediately support life-saving aid convoys to several areas in Eastern Ghouta as soon as conditions allow, and we also have plans for evacuation of hundreds of medical cases as soon as we can,” he added.

Damaged buildings are seen in the besieged town of Douma, Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, Syria February 25, 2018 - Sputnik International
Militants Shell Eastern Ghouta, Syrian Army Doesn't Respond - Russian MoD
Laerke also highlighted that the people of Eastern Ghouta and Syria needed the 30-day nationwide ceasefire and urged all the parties to the conflict to end hostilities.

“It is a question of life and death,” he noted.

The United Nations Security Council resolution 2401 was unanimously adopted on Saturday and calls to cease hostilities for at least 30 consecutive days, ensuring a “durable humanitarian pause” to enable weekly humanitarian aid deliveries and medical evacuations of the critically sick and wounded.

On Monday, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu stated that a daily humanitarian pause would be introduced in Eastern Ghouta starting on February 27 from 09:00 [07:00 GMT] until 14:00.

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