Russia's patience with Ghouta militants not indefinite: Putin

Assad regime released over 13,000 prisoners planted them in terror groups

China Military Online, the official website of China's armed forces, published Wednesday an article detailing the competing narratives over a failed ceasefire attempt in Syria, where Russian Federation has joined the military in bombarding the insurgent-held suburb of eastern Ghouta, outside of Damascus.

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.

Jeffrey Feltman, UN under secretary-general for political affairs, expressed frustration over the council's inaction. "They are asking civilians to leave Eastern Ghouta on the false premise that they can then attack anyone left in the area as much as they would like", she said.

Since February 18, 582 civilians, nearly a quarter of them children, have been killed in the Syrian and Russian bombardment of Eastern Ghouta, making it one of the bloodiest episodes of the country's seven-year-old conflict.

In a terse assessment, United Nations humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock responded with a simple "No" almost a dozen times to council questions about whether the resolution had been implemented.

Lowcock said trucks loaded with supplies have been poised to go to 10 besieged areas including Douma, the main town in the enclave, since Saturday. "The fighting must cease and aid agencies must be allowed to deliver lifesaving humanitarian assistance or more children will die", said Save the Children's Sonia Khush.

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But residents say neither the ceasefire nor the corridors have been implemented.

"Unless this changes", he declared, "we will soon see even more people dying from starvation and disease than from the bombing and the shelling".

"Medical and other essential services are absent and access for humanitarian workers to the city remains precariously limited because the conditions are so unsafe", Lowcock said.

In comments after the vote, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, blamed the Syrian government and its allies, Russian Federation and Iran, for not taking responsibility for the urgency of the situation.

According to the Syrian White Helmets civil defense group, the number of casualties has exceeded 400 in the past week due to the Assad regime's fierce attacks.

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".

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Kelley Currie, the USA ambassador for economic and social affairs, accused the Syrian regime of violating the ceasefire, while Russian ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said it was the rebels who were in violation of it.

The government's campaign to regain control over Eastern Ghouta intensified on February 18. He added that it is necessary to effectively neutralize the Nusra Front extremist group.

But the first day of a five-hour daily "pause" that was ordered by President Vladimir Putin Monday and kicked off at 9:00 am (0700 GMT) was marred by violence that saw seven people killed. He was sharply critical of the West, and especially the United States, for fancying themselves as "champions of humanity" and saying a cease-fire depends nearly entirely on Russian Federation and Syria.

On February 24, the United Nations Security Council voted in favour of a 30-day truce, which was violated only hours later.

But Russia's UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia defended the attacks.

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