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UN Security Council backs 30-day ceasefire in Syria

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UN Security Council backs 30-day ceasefire in Syria

The United Nations Security Council on Saturday unanimously backed a 30-day ceasefire in Syria, allowing for evacuation and emergency aid in the areas hardest hit in bombing raids by government forces.

The council backed the resolution demanding a ceasefire between Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces and rebels following days brutal volleys of artillery and incendiary bombs on the already war-ravaged country.

Attacks by the regime continued as the Security Council scrambled to approve a resolution on Saturday after Russia delayed the measure for two days.

Russia, a permanent member on the Security Council that supports the current regime in Syria, has supported the government militarily for years in its efforts to quell various uprisings against the regime. 

The council initially missed a noon deadline for the vote on Saturday as Russian diplomats worked to tone down the resolution’s strict language on the matter.  

“In the three days it took us to adopt this resolution, how many mothers lost their kids to the bombing?” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley asked Saturday as the council voted on the ceasefire. “Here we are voting for a ceasefire that could have saved lives days ago, and after all of this time, hardly anything has changed in the resolution except a few words and some commas.”

At least 520 people have died and 2,500 have been wounded in the shelling of Eastern Ghouta outside of Damascus since Sunday, the humanitarian medical group Doctors Without Borders told CNN in a statement. Thirteen of its affiliated hospitals and clinics in the area have also been compromised or destroyed by the bombing. 

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