At least 27 people have been killed by terrorist shelling in the Syrian capital city of Damascus, says the Russian military.
According to the TASS news agency on Tuesday, almost 60 other civilians were also injured in the mortar attacks which originated from Eastern Ghouta.
Holed up inside Eastern Ghouta, foreign-backed militants have been launching indiscriminate mortar and rocket attacks on Damascus, which have resulted in many civilian deaths. They are also using civilians as human shields in the face of army advances.
The latest developments come amid reports that Syrian government forces have gained control over 90 percent of the Eastern Ghouta region.
Syria has established a humanitarian corridor to allow civilians to leave the operation zone, while Russia has been enforcing daily pauses in fighting to facilitate people’s exit.
West of guilty of political blackmail: Syria
Meanwhile, Syria’s ambassador to the UN has claimed that Western countries are guilty of attempting to politically blackmail the Syrian government with their hysteria about the situation in Eastern Ghouta.
“We have been witness to a state of hysteria over the past weeks in the council as the Syrian government sought to exercise its sovereign right and to combat terrorist groups … and to restore security and stability,” Bashar Ja’afari said.
He noted that the Western countries’ actions are aimed at protecting the terrorists. He added that contrary to claims made by the US, Eastern Ghouta has not fallen and that in fact it is terrorists who have failed.
Russia defends ceasefire efforts in Syria
Also on Tuesday, Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia has defended his country’s efforts to implement a ceasefire in Syria.
“The Russian Federation has proactively taken measures to normalize this situation,” he said.
Nebenzia added that Russia was the only UN Security Council member to engage in solid efforts aimed at preserving the ceasefire.
“Some members of the Security Council prefer to squander time on letters and rhetoric with unfounded claims against our country,” he added.
Nebenzia’s remarks were made after the US envoy to UN claimed that the Syria ceasefire had failed to yield any positive outcome.
“History will not be kind when it judges the effectiveness of this council in relieving the suffering of the Syrian people,” said Nikki Haley calling for the council to pass a new resolution expressing outrage over the failure to heed the call for a halt to the fighting.
“After years of enduring siege and starvation, residents are surrendering Eastern Ghouta,” she added.