UN chief welcomes "unilateral pause" in Syria bombing

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at an informal meeting of the seventy-first session of the General Assembly with briefings from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Special Envoy on Syria, Staffan de Mistura, on the situation in Syria. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

The "unilateral pause" in the bombing in Syria announced by Russia on Thursday has been welcomed by the UN Secretary-General.

Ban Ki-moon made the remarks during a special meeting on Syria in the UN General Assembly.

The results of a military government offensive to take back eastern Aleppo have been "horrific," Mr Ban said.

Jocelyne Sambira has the story.

The conflict in Syria continues to reach new and awful depths, the Secretary-General told delegates and representatives of UN Member States, adding that he had "run out of words" to describe the tragedy. 

Nearly 500 people have been killed and close to 2,000 injured in the latest airstrikes on rebel-held areas of Aleppo. 

More than a quarter of all deaths are children, Ban Ki-moon noted. 

"Eastern Aleppo is besieged. No UN convoy has entered since 7 July. Under these medieval conditions, the vulnerable are suffering the most. The health sector has been mercilessly pummelled – hundreds of people are in urgent need of medical evacuation." 

Mr Ban said he hoped the Russian-backed truce in eastern Aleppo would allow for the UN's medical evacuation plan to be carried out. 

However, the realisation of this plan depends on the UN receiving guarantees from all parties, he underscored. 

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations. 

Duration: 1’00″

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