Russian military plane crashes in Syria, killing 39 servicemen

Russian military plane crashes in Syria, killing 39 servicemen

Fresh air strikes and clashes shook the Syrian rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta yesterday after desperately needed aid deliveries were cut short by fighting. The regime and Russian Federation deny targeting civilians, despite accounts of attacks on hospitals and evidence of women and children as casualties.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says 80 died and dozens more were wounded on Monday as government forces ignored the United Nations call and pressed their assault on the rebel-held eastern Ghouta.

The regime's continued ground and air attacks on Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, come despite separate cease-fire initiatives endorsed by Russian Federation and the UN Security Council.

Syria's Central Military Media says troops are continuing their advance from the east and are only 3 kilometers, or 1.8 miles, from meeting troops advancing from the west, which would achieve the partitioning of eastern Ghouta into two parts.

In a statement on Tuesday U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he "calls on all parties to immediately allow safe and unimpeded access for further convoys to deliver critical supplies to hundreds of thousands of people in desperate need". "They don't want aid; what they want is the shelling to stop".

The coalition air raid last March 21, which hit a school being used as a temporary shelter for displaced families, killed at least 150 people, including more than 20 children.

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He appealed for a sustainable solution to the security situation in eastern Ghouta so that more aid could be brought in.

The Syrian government, through the SANA state news agency, denied using chemical weapons in its eastern Ghouta offensive.

The evacuation of the civilians was called for by Russian, which backed a five-hour-long humanitarian pause in Eastern Ghouta, excluding the battles against the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in the country.

Netherlands U.N. Ambassador Karel van Oosterom was speaking after the Council was briefed behind closed doors on the situation in Syria at the request of Britain and France.

The allegations of the use of chemical weapons are a "mere blackmail" that the West resorted to strike the Syrian army, he noted.

But anti-government groups holding out in eastern Ghouta say they will not be swayed by psychological tactics. The area is the last major rebel-held enclave near the capital, and has come under an increasingly violent siege in the past two months.

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