A bandaged Syrian child cries as he sits in a clinic in the rebel-held town of Douma, in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, February 24, 2018. Photo: AFP
Iran's army chief-of-staff said Sunday the UN Security Council resolution demanding a ceasefire in Syria does not cover "terrorist groups" in Eastern Ghouta and they would continue to be targeted by the Syrian military.
"We respect this resolution which is an international decision... and the Syrian government respects it as well," said Mohammad Bagheri, according to the official IRNA news agency.
"But the zones on the periphery of Damascus which are in the hands of Al-Nusra and other terrorist groups are not covered by the ceasefire and the offensives and clearing operations by the Syrian army will continue."
The Security Council on Saturday adopted a resolution calling for a 30-day ceasefire in Syria "without delay", to allow for aid deliveries and medical evacuations.
But heavy clashes broke out in southern areas of the opposition enclave of Eastern Ghouta on Sunday, a monitor said.
"The Western camp and terrorist supporters insisted on establishing a ceasefire but... Russia and Iran sought to limit this resolution so that terrorist groups like Al-Nusra are exempted and the war can continue against them," said Bagheri.
"Syrian territory must be cleared of terrorist groups over the coming months so that Syrians can live peacefully," he said.