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UN 'Considering New Resolution' For 30-Day Syria Cease-Fire


Syrian civilians flee from reported regime air strikes in the rebel-held town of Jisreen, in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital, Damascus, on February 8.

The United Nations Security Council is considering a draft resolution to demand a 30-day cease-fire in Syria, according to the French AFP news agency, which says it has seen a text of the resolution.

AFP on February 9 said the diplomats were seeking the cease-fire to allow deliveries of humanitarian aid.

The report said the resolution presented by Sweden and Kuwait would also demand an immediate end to sieges, including in Eastern Ghouta, where a bombing campaign by government forces has killed more than 240 civilians in five days.

The move comes one day after the UN Security Council rejected an appeal from UN aid officials for a monthlong humanitarian cease-fire in Syria in the face of Russian opposition.

Russian UN envoy Vassily Nebenzia called that resolution unrealistic.

"We would like to see a cease-fire, the end of the war, but the terrorists, I am not sure, are in agreement," Nebenzia told reporters.

Diplomats said it was unclear whether Russia would use its veto to block the new draft resolution.

Russia, along with Iran, has offered military and diplomatic support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in its nearly seven-year civil war and has opposed any moves that could potentially weaken his position.

The United States and Turkey back differing rebel groups fighting Assad's government, which often refers to U.S.-supported rebels as "terrorists" along with fighters from the Islamic State (IS) extremist group.

According to UN statistics, some 13.1 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian aid, including 6.1 million who have been displaced within the country during the civil war, which began in 2011 with a government crackdown against pro-democracy protesters.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters
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