(CNN)After multiple delays, the United Nations Security Council has pushed its vote on a 30-day ceasefire in Syria to noon on Saturday.
The Security Council’s 15 members were unable to reach an agreement on draft text and delayed the vote three times on Friday before putting it off for yet another day.Security Council President Mansour Al-Otaibi said members were “very close” to closing the gaps, but didn’t elaborate on the main point of disagreement.US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley was clear in blaming Russia for the lack of action.”Unbelievable that Russia is stalling a vote on a ceasefire allowing humanitarian access in Syria. How many more people will die before the The Security Council agrees to take up this vote?” Haley tweeted.
Unbelievable that Russia is stalling a vote on a ceasefire allowing humanitarian access in Syria. How many more people will die before the The Security Council agrees to take up this vote? Let’s do this tonight. The Syrian people can’t wait.
— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) February 23, 2018 Read MoreMore than 400 people have been killed since Sunday in the relentless bombardment of Eastern Ghouta, an enclave near the capital Damascus.Around 400,000 people are in hiding as the suburb crumbles around them after being pounded with shells, mortars and bombs dropped by Russian-backed Syrian regime forces since Sunday night.Most of the dead are women, children and the elderly, Dr. Fayez Orabi, head of the enclave’s health department, told CNN in a series of WhatsApp messages.”It’s difficult to have a precise count because of the internet and communications are weak and the shelling and bombing are 24 hours,” Orabi said. “During writing this message to you more than 20 rockets have fell around us,” he added.JUST WATCHEDActivist describes crisis in Eastern GhoutaReplayMore Videos …MUST WATCH
Activist describes crisis in Eastern Ghouta 02:04The UK-based monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also estimated that around 400 people have been killed, including 95 children and 61 women. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday that Russia is ready to vote for a ceasefire resolution but that the United States and its allies won’t provide guarantees that militants in Syria will observe it, according to Russia’s state-run RT outlet.”For now, they refuse to accept an amendment which will place responsibility on them to ensure that the militants give clear guarantees to stop the shelling,” Lavrov was quoted as saying.Sweden’s ambassador to the UN, Olof Skoog, said he too was frustrated by the delays but that members are working really hard to find “a meaningful but consensual resolution.” Photos: Airstrikes in Eastern GhoutaMedics tend to a baby as a child cries next to them at a makeshift clinic in Douma, Syria, on Thursday, February 23. More than 400 civilians have been killed this week in Syria’s rebel-held Eastern Ghouta region, according to the head of the region’s health department on Friday, February 23. Syrian regime forces have been pounding Eastern Ghouta with shells, mortars and bombs. Hide Caption 1 of 15 Photos: Airstrikes in Eastern GhoutaA man rescues a child after a reported airstrike in the rebel-held town of Hamouria on Wednesday, February 21. Syria says it is targeting terrorists in Eastern Ghouta.Hide Caption 2 of 15 Photos: Airstrikes in Eastern GhoutaMembers of a Syrian civil-defense team rescue a man in Hamouria on February 21.Hide Caption 3 of 15 Photos: Airstrikes in Eastern GhoutaA woman and children run for cover after bombing in Hamouria on Monday, February 19.Hide Caption 4 of 15 Photos: Airstrikes in Eastern Ghouta Hide Caption 5 of 15 Photos: Airstrikes in Eastern GhoutaAn injured child cries as he receives treatment at a makeshift hospital in Hamouria on February 19.Hide Caption 6 of 15 Photos: Airstrikes in Eastern GhoutaA man carries an injured victim amid the rubble of buildings.Hide Caption 7 of 15 Photos: Airstrikes in Eastern GhoutaA boy waits to receive medical treatment at a field hospital on February 19.Hide Caption 8 of 15 Photos: Airstrikes in Eastern GhoutaInjured children are treated at a hospital in Douma.Hide Caption 9 of 15 Photos: Airstrikes in Eastern GhoutaA wounded boy receives treatment in Douma following airstrikes on the village of Mesraba.Hide Caption 10 of 15 Photos: Airstrikes in Eastern GhoutaA man carries an infant he rescued from the rubble in Hamouria on February 19.Hide Caption 11 of 15 Photos: Airstrikes in Eastern GhoutaInjured children are treated at a hospital in Douma.Hide Caption 12 of 15 Photos: Airstrikes in Eastern GhoutaGhaith, a wounded 12-year-old boy, cries as he waits for treatment — and news of his mother in the operating room — at a makeshift hospital in Kafr Batna. They were hurt in airstrikes on the town of Jisreen.Hide Caption 13 of 15 Photos: Airstrikes in Eastern GhoutaChildren cry at a makeshift hospital in Douma.Hide Caption 14 of 15 Photos: Airstrikes in Eastern GhoutaA man weeps over his child, who was killed in the Mesraba airstrikes.Hide Caption 15 of 15“I am extremely frustrated with the fact that the Security Council, that we have not been able to adopt a resolution to try to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people. Yes, I’m very frustrated with that,” Skoog said.”I think we all agree that there needs to be a ceasefire,” he said. “That has to be urgent, immediately. There’s still some discussions on exactly how to define that. That’s what we’re working on.”Human Rights Watch called for immediate action. “Other countries should send a clear message to Syria’s chief enabler, Russia, that it needs to end its efforts to block the Security Council from taking action to stop these atrocities,” said Lama Fakih, the campaign group’s deputy Middle East director.