March 12, 2018 / 4:34 PM / 10 months ago

Russia defends Syrian gov't Ghouta offensive at U.N.

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the U.N. Security Council on Monday that the Syrian government has “every right to try and remove the threat to the safety of its citizens” and described the Damascus suburbs as a “hotbed of terrorism.”

The Syrian army’s onslaught in eastern Ghouta, backed by air and artillery strikes, has killed about 1,160 people since Feb. 18, a war monitor said, as President Bashar al-Assad seeks to crush the last big rebel stronghold near the capital Damascus.

Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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