The UN Secretary General has demanded an immediate end to fighting in the Eastern Ghouta in Syria, describing the rebel enclave as a “hell on earth”.  The UN security council is being urged to consider a resolution which calls for a 30-day ceasefire in Syria. The Eastern Ghouta has been under fierce bombardment from government forces backed by Russian airpower.

If you’re planning a trip to Kirkuk this weekend, be on your toes as an unknown attacker targeted a vehicle of Iraqi Counter-Terror forces in Kirkuk with a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG), leading to an exchange of fire between the attacker and the Iraqi force. No casualties have been reported according to the Kirkuk police. Security forces have opened an investigation into the incident.

Lastly, the Pentagon confirmed the non-combat death of a US soldier in Baghdad. We extend our condolences to the family of Sgt. Christina Marie Schoenecker, 26, of Arlington, Kansas, who died Feb. 19 of unspecified causes. The incident was not combat-related and was under investigation. Her death is the third casualty of the year for the US military’s current mission in Iraq, known as Inherent Resolve.