Iran says will respect UN ceasefire, but continue attacks on ‘terrorist’ areas

Iran said attacks would continue on rebel-held areas near Damascus, where clashes were reported on Sunday between insurgents and government forces despite a UN resolution demanding a 30-day truce across Syria.

They said the attacks would continue on areas near Damascus “held by the terrorists”, the Tasnim news agency quoted its chief of staff as saying.

Warplanes and artillery hit some towns in the eastern Ghouta enclave, said residents, rescuers, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The Observatory, a UK-based war monitoring group, said Sunday’s bombing was less intense than the attacks over the past week.

Rebels said they clashed with government forces on several frontlines in the early hours of Sunday. There was no immediate comment from the Syrian military.

Iranian General Mohammad Baqeri, whose government backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said Tehran and Damascus would respect the UN resolution.

Baqeri said Iran and Syria would adhere to it. But “parts of the suburbs of Damascus, which are held by the terrorists, are not covered by the ceasefire and clean-up (operations) will continue there,” Tasnim quoted him as saying.

Several previous ceasefires have unraveled quickly in the seven-year war in Syria, where Assad’s military has gained the upper hand with the help of Iran and Russia, its key allies.

The UN Security Council resolution on Saturday followed seven straight days of bombing by pro-government forces on the besieged eastern suburbs, in one of the deadliest offensives of the war.



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