The United Nations Security Council on Saturday unanimously approved a 30-day ceasefire between the government of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and guerrillas in Eastern Ghouta. The resolution demands that “all parties cease hostilities without delay” and allow humanitarian aid and medical evacuations. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the situation as “hell on Earth.”
Yesterday, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin ordered a daily humanitarian pause in fighting. He also wants a “humanitarian corridor” to allow civilians to leave. Syria’s government forces have bombarded Ghouta for over a week. A local NGO reports well over 500 people dead with hundreds of thousands still trapped. Forces opposed to al-Assad claim people are being treated for exposure to chlorine gas.
We’ll get analysis from Juan Cole, professor of history at the University of Michigan and publisher of the Informed Comment blog. His most recent book is The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation is Changing the Middle East.