In response to the attack on Eastern Ghouta, and the resulting humanitarian crisis, the UN has unanimously voted for a temporary ceasefire in order to alleviate the crisis and provide aid to those in dire need of it. Though the resolution was delayed a day due to arguments with Russia over the wording of certain points, it was passed on the 24th of February. The resolution officially only refers to official factions in the Syrian civil war, and thus groups such as the Islamic State are not protected, according to the BBC.

Response

Almost immediately after the passing of the UN's Proposed ceasefire, Assad sent out another wave of bombing attacks on the beleaguered city.

Russian planes continue to provide support. Over 500 people have died in the days following the passing of the resolution, according to a source from Al Jazeera published on the 24th. However, casualties are continuing to climb as Syrian medical personnel and volunteers from the Syrian American Medical society claim that Assad launched a Chlorine gas attack a mere two days after the ceasefire proposal passed. Chlorine gas is a deadly toxin that first came into use as a weapon in 1915, during the Second Battle of Ypres, in WWI. Following the war, gas attacks were largely banned for being too inhumane. Since then, its use has been considered a war crime.

As of yet, the casualties of the gas attack have been comparatively light, with only one confirmed death and about eighteen others wounded according to the BBC.

The government of Syria has officially denied ever using chemical weapons. Russia also claims these reports are falsified. According to UN investigations, Syria has used chemical weapons on multiple occasions throughout the war. However, no further investigations have been launched in the two years since.

There are also claims that the Rebels have fired into Damascus and killed civilians in recent days, an action which they have done in the past, but were also ordered to halt by the resolution.

International backlash

In the days since the ceasefire was passed, and ignored, many officials have condemned the actions of Assad and the Syrian government. Among them, the Emir of Qatar, who has called the continued siege a crime against humanity and called on the international community to help in remedying the situation in Eastern Ghouta. During the passing of the resolution, Russia was criticized by the US ambassador for delaying the resolution over minor wording changes, such as changing "immediate" to "without delay." Many sources, including Al Jazeera, have suggested that the suggested changes were for little more than to delay the resolution.

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