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Ghouta civilians 'still living in hell', UN envoy for Syria says

The United Nations special mediator for Syria, Staffan de Mistura
The U.N. envoy for Syria says despite a six-day cease-fire holding in the city of Douma, violence has escalated elsewhere in the eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus and across many other parts of Syria "where there is no cease-fire to speak of.", ABC News said.
Staffan de Mistura said Turkish government forces and their allies "continue to take ground rapidly" in the Kurdish enclave of Afrin, and that there are reports of shelling on opposition-besieged Foua and Kefrya, airstrikes in Idlib and a new opposition offensive in Hama, as well as clashes and airstrikes in Daraa in southern Syria.
Borrowing Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' words, he reiterated that in eastern Ghouta "people are still living in a hell on earth."
De Mistura told the U.N. Security Council in a video briefing Friday that there are also "fresh allegations of use of incendiary weapons against civilians in urban areas as well as fresh and disturbing allegations of chlorine use in these areas."
He said the U.N. cannot confirm the reports "but we cannot and should not ignore them."
De Mistura urged faster movement "with more impact" to implement the council's demand for a cease-fire throughout Syria and to establish a committee to draft a new constitution for Syria, saying the Syrian regime must engage and be part of the process.
"De-escalation needs to replace what we are watching at the moment — a clear tendency for escalation," he said.
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