Addressing the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the rebels in Syria’s besieged eastern Ghouta of blocking humanitarian aid despite the daily temporary truce initiated by Moscow. Lavrov said Moscow would continue supporting the Syrian army against terrorists.


Lavrov Photo Credit: Russian Presidential Executive Office

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that the rebels in Syria’s eastern Ghouta enclave were responsible for blocking humanitarian aid in the region and preventing the escape of civilians from the besieged area. According to Lavrov, this was despite the daily humanitarian truce initiated by Moscow.

Speaking to the UN Human Rights Council, Lavrov said it was now the turn of the militants and their sponsors to act. “We call upon the so-called US Coalition to ensure the same humanitarian access to areas in Syria under their control,” said Lavrov. The minister also vowed that Moscow would continue supporting Syria in defeating what he called the “terrorist threat.”

On Monday, Russia announced a daily 5-hour humanitarian pause, despite international demands for an all-encompassing 30-day ceasefire. The calm in the enclave was short-lived, as reports from Syria claimed the truce was broken less than three hours after it began with regime airstrikes on several towns in the area. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported the death of at least seven people in the alleged airstrikes.