Diplomatic attempts to arrange a temporary truce to allow aid into the Syrian city of Aleppo have been blocked by Russia and China. The two nations vetoed a UN resolution draft submitted jointly by Egypt, New Zealand and Spain. Russia’s UN ambassador argued it would allow rebels to regroup.
“As we know, these kinds of pauses have been used by fighters to reinforce their ammunition and to strengthen their positions and this will only worsen the suffering of civilians,” said Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin.
Venezuela also voted against the draft resolution, while Abgloa abstained. The remaining 11 states voted in favour.
The US’s deputy UN ambassador Michele Sison gave a scathing response to Russia which has now vetoed Security Council resolutions on Syria six times since the conflict began in 2011. China has blocked action five times.
“Russia says that they were on the cusp of reaching a deal with the United States to allow for some resolution of the situation in eastern Aleppo and that this resolution undermines the negotiation. That is a made-up alibi…. We have not reached a breakthrough because Russia has been more focused on preserving its military gains than helping Aleppo’s civilians.”
On the ground in Aleppo, Syrian government forces claimed to have moved into the al-Shaar neighbourhood in the rebel-held east. If confirmed they’ve now taken 70% of the rebel territory in the city in just over a week.
In the government controlled area of Aleppo there have been reports of an insurgent mortar attack on a Russian field hospital in which two service women are said to have been killed.