By Bayram Altug
GENEVA (AA) - The UN special envoy for Syria on Friday reiterated his call for immediate cease-fire amid "horrific" bombings in besieged Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus.
Staffan De Mistura called on guarantor countries Turkey, Russia and Iran for an immediate meeting for re-establishing "tension reduction zones", in a statement read out by UN spokeswoman Alessandra Vellucci during a briefing in Geneva.
De Mistura underlined that immediate, unhindered humanitarian access to Eastern Ghouta, as well as evacuation of the sick and injured had to follow the cease-fire.
On Thursday, Russia's permanent representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia said Russia would not support a UN Security Council proposal calling for a one-month humanitarian cease-fire in Eastern Ghouta unless some changes were made.
Nebenzia described the proposal as unrealistic.
Home to some 400,000 people, Eastern Ghouta has remained under a crippling regime siege for the last five years, bringing it to the verge of humanitarian catastrophe.
In the past eight months, Assad regime forces have intensified their siege, making it nearly impossible for food or medicine to get into the district and leaving thousands of patients in need of treatment.
Syria has been locked in a devastating conflict since early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.
According to UN officials, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict to date.