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France, Britain request emergency UN meeting on Syria

UNITED NATIONS – France and Britain have requested an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the failure of the 30-day ceasefire to take hold in Syria, diplomats said on Tuesday, March 6.

The council is expected to meet on Wednesday to discuss the air strikes and clashes in the Syrian enclave of Eastern Ghouta that have continued despite a ceasefire demanded by the top UN body ten days ago.

Backed by Russia, the council unanimously adopted on February 24 a resolution demanding the 30-day cessation of hostilities to allow deliveries of humanitarian aid and evacuations of the sick and wounded.

A first aid convoy reached Eastern Ghouta on Monday but the operation was cut short as air strikes pounded the enclave, killing at least 68 civilians, according to a human rights monitor.

Air strikes, and artillery and rocket fire on the last major rebel-held enclave near the capital Damascus have killed hundreds and devastated residential areas since they began on February 18.

The latest toll released by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights brings to around 760 the number of civilians killed since the assault began, including at least 170 children. – Rappler.com