Rescuers in Syria’s eastern Ghouta said the bombing would not let up long enough for them to count the bodies during one of the bloodiest air assaults of the seven-year war, while the UN Security Council called for a 30-day humanitarian truce.
The vote at the United Nations came as warplanes pounded eastern Ghouta, the last rebel enclave near Syria’s capital, for a seventh straight day while residents holed up in basements.
The Security Council approved a resolution demanding a 30-day truce to allow aid deliveries and medical evacuations with the support of Syrian ally Russia after a flurry of last-minute negotiations.
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley blasted Russia for delaying the vote to respond to the crisis.
“We are late to respond to this crisis, very late,” Haley said on Saturday. “Today Russia has belatedly decided to join the international consensus and accept the need to call for a ceasefire, but only after trying every possible way to avoid it.”
Medical charities have decried attacks on a dozen hospitals but the Damascus government and Russia, its key ally, say they only target militants. They have said they seek to stop mortar attacks injuring dozens in the capital, and have accused insurgents in Ghouta of holding people as human shields.
There was no immediate comment from the Syrian military.
A surge of rocket fire, shelling and air strikes has killed more than 500 people since Sunday night, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The dead included more than 120 children.