West, Russia nix opposing UN resolutions to end Syria war
The Syrian and Russian bombing campaign on Aleppo has escalated in the past few weeks, inviting an international scrutiny. Photograph: (Getty)
A divided UN security council failed to adopt two Syria resolutions on Saturday.
The council was to vote on the rival draft resolutions - a French text requiring an end to air strikes and military flights over Aleppo city and a Russian draft that was similar but made no mention of ending its bombardment of the city.
During the meeting, Russia first vetoed the French draft, making it the fifth time that the country has used its power to veto to block UN action on ending the five-year war in Syria.
The draft by France had won 11 votes in favour but two votes against, from Russia and Venezuela. There were two abstentions which included veto-holder China.
Shortly after the Russian veto, the security council rejected the rival draft presented by Moscow by a vote of nine against, four in favour and two abstentions.
Russia, China, Egypt and Venezuela voted in favour of the Russian measure while Angola and Uruguay abstained.
"A lonely veto and just four votes in favor of your text," British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft told the Russian ambassador after the second vote, AFP reported.
"A double humiliation", he called it.
Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said he expected his draft text to be rejected, but stressed that he had warned France repeatedly that its measure was "doomed.", an AFP report said.
The Syrian and Russian bombing campaign has escalated in the past few weeks, inviting an international scrutiny. The failed September 9 ceasefire deal between US and Russia has also been a blow to the already tense ties between the two countries.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned that the mounting tensions between Washington and Moscow over the conflict had created a situation "more dangerous" than the Cold War.
"It’s a fallacy to think that this is like the Cold War," Steinmeier said in an interview published by Bild newspaper.
"The current times are different and more dangerous."
Since the regime offensive began a few days after a US- and Russian-brokered ceasefire collapsed, at least 290 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in rebel-held areas, 57 of them children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
50 civilians including nine children have been killed in rebel shelling on regime-held areas of the city, according to the Britain-based monitoring group, AFP reported.
It said government forces were making further advances on Saturday ahead of the Security Council session.
"The battle is unfolding in the center, particularly in the Bustan al-Basha district where the army is advancing, in Sheikh Said in the south, and on the northern outskirts where the regime has taken the Uwaija neighborhood," Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
The monitor reported heavy air strikes on the rebel-held Fardos and Sukari neighborhoods. An AFP correspondent said the raids mostly hit combat zones in the city.
(WION with inputs from AFP)