Russian military says will respond if US strikes Syria: RIA

Russian military says will respond if US strikes Syria: RIA

"This is no ceasefire".

Mattis said Russian Federation, which intervened militarily in Syria to support the Assad government, could be complicit in the civilian casualties.

Ms Haley recalled that President Donald Trump had ordered missile strikes on a Syrian air base in April past year in retaliation for a sarin gas attack blamed on President Bashar Al Assad's forces.

"It is not the path we prefer, but it is a path we have demonstrated we will take, and we are prepared to take again".

As reported earlier by Reuters, the U.S. has submitted a new draft resolution to the UN Security Council which requires a 30-day truce in Damascus and its suburbs of East Ghouta.

The rebel group said in a statement that an agreement has been reached with Russians to allow the United Nations to evacuate wounded people out of Eastern Ghouta for medical treatment.

Children sit and watch a convoy of Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) trucks as they arrive in Douma, in Eastern Ghouta, Syria, on March 5.

Meanwhile, in Syria, regime forces' jets carried out first aerial attacks in rebel-held towns in southern parts of country since United States and Russian Federation reached an agreement making it a de-escalation zone a year ago.

The Syrian army on Monday secured the evacuation of civilians from recently-captured areas in the capital Damascus' Eastern Ghouta countryside, state news agency SANA reported.

Jaish al-Islam said on Monday it had reached a medical evacuation deal with the Syrian government's key ally, Russia, after indirect talks.

Turkey's military and its rebel allies have encircled the northern Syrian town of Afrin, the Turkish armed forces said on Tuesday, a substantial advance in Ankara's offensive against Kurdish fighters across its southern border.

The United Nations says 400,000 people live in the enclave, already suffering shortages of food and medicine even before the massive assault began in mid-February.

A Britain-based monitor says that some 1,170 civilians have been killed by the three-week onslaught on the rebel enclave.

But Russia has failed to honor this agreement, "as bombs continue dropping on the children in eastern Ghouta", she said.

"There are many Russian advisers, representatives of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides and servicemen in Damascus and at Syrian defense facilities", the RIA news agency quoted head of Russia's General Staff Valery Gerasimov as saying.

According to Aljazeera, Antonio Guterres' remarks came as the government forces continued its operations for a third week to launch air strikes and advance a ground offensive into the Damascus suburb.

The ceasefire resolution was never meant to put in place an immediate truce, he said.

Nebenzia said the earlier ceasefire was not created to stop fighting immediately, but was instead a "preliminary agreement" for "sustained de-escalation in all hard areas of Syria, not only eastern Ghouta".

Last week, Syrian authorities have sent more than 100 letters to the UN Security Council confirming that terrorist groups own chemical substances that they use against civilians.

French Ambassador Francois Delattre said Russian Federation could "stop the bloodbath" if it stopped its bombing campaign and convinced Assad to stop his offensive.

The report also said that Iran has been gradually expanding its zone of influence in the region hiding behind Russia's military support and relying on Hezbollah.

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