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Syria fighting worse since call for truce: UN

AFP  |  Damascus 

Fighting has only worsened in in the week since the called for a month-long ceasefire, the UN's in warned today.

The UN made an urgent plea last Tuesday for warring sides in to temporarily lay down their arms to allow for aid deliveries to desperate civilians.

The failed to back the appeal last week but was to consider a new draft on a 30-day pause today.

Hours before the talks, the UN's in Syria, Ali al-Zaatari, renewed the plea.

"Since our statement of 6 February, when the UN representatives in called for a one-month cessation of hostilities, the situation has worsened," Zaatari said in an emailed statement.

"We are witnessing some of the worst fighting of the entire conflict, with reports of hundreds of civilian deaths and injuries, massive displacement and the destruction of civilian infrastructure, including medical facilities," he added.

Over the past week, planes have pounded the opposition-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta near Damascus, as rebels fired rockets and mortars down on the capital.

A Turkish-led offensive in has continued to displace families along the northern border.

"We keep stressing our message, that this terrible suffering of the Syrian people must stop. They have already borne the brunt of this brutal conflict," Zaatari said.

"I am again appealing to all parties, and those with influence over them, to listen to us and to the affected population: end this intolerable human suffering," he said.

Negotiations are to begin in on Monday on a new draft presented by and demanding a 30-day ceasefire and an end to sieges, and diplomats said it could quickly come to a vote at the

But it remained unclear whether - which has repeatedly used its veto to protect its ally Bashar al-Assad - would block the action.

More than 13.1 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian aid, including 6.1 million who have been displaced within the country during the nearly seven-year war.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 12 2018. 19:30 IST