Russia, China block UNSC resolution on Aleppo truce

December 6, 2016 - 20:2

Russia and China have vetoed a UN Security Council resolution which would have mandated a seven-day ceasefire in Syria’s Aleppo.

Russia stated that a truce would only permit the militants to regroup and that the subject requires further talks between Moscow and Washinshington
The resolution, drafted by New Zealand, Egypt and Spain, was also blocked by Venezuela, while Angola abstained from voting with the remaining 11 members voting in its favor.
“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 Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s permanent envoy to the UN.
“The draft resolution contradicts the work of the Council because it was put in a late time today, and it is not possible to vote on it before tomorrow, in addition there was no consensus on this issue,” he added.
He noted the draft resolution also contradicts upcoming talks between Russian and American experts aimed at removal of all militants from eastern Aleppo.
“The draft resolution put for voting today didn’t include any talk about the exit of gunmen from the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo, but about an immediate ceasefire, thus, it will be left ten days for the gunmen to mobilize their forces and re-organize their ranks,” he said.
Syria's envoy to the UN Bashar al-Ja'afari said that the draft resolution had been an attempt by Western countries to support the militants in Aleppo.   
He noted that the U.S., France and Britain, who all voted for the resolution, were turning a blind eye towards the suffering of civilians in Aleppo by supporting the terrorists.
He further vowed that the Syrian army would continue to battle the terrorists until they are all destroyed.

 Aleppo situation
Syrian army soldiers and allied fighters have managed to recapture two militant-held eastern Aleppo districts in their latest push against foreign-backed terrorists on the battlefield in the contested city.
Lebanon’s al-Manar television channel reported on Tuesday the liberation of Qadi Askar and Tirbet Lala neighborhoods as well as the southern part of Aleppo’s residential area of Sha'ar.
This is while some reports said the Syrian army has taken full control of Sha'ar, but they have not been officially confirmed yet.
In addition, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said after Sha'ar’s liberation, the terrorists' campaign would be reduced to a "war of attrition" with the Syrian military.
Sha'ar “is the most important neighborhood in the heart of east Aleppo, and is on the brink of falling," the head of the SOHR, Rami Abdel Rahman, said, stressing that government forces already controlled about a third of the district.
The Syrian army is estimated to be in control of 70 percent of east Aleppo following the recapture of Sha'ar.
Backed by Russia’s air cover, Syrian army forces and their allies have dealt heavy blows to the militants over the past few weeks.

Syria dismisses Aleppo truce, urges terrorists’ withdrawal

Additionally on Tuesday, Syria announced that it would not agree to a truce in Aleppo unless it received adequate guarantees for the full withdrawal of militants from the flashpoint city.
In a statement carried by Syria's official news agency, SANA, the Syrian Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said that Damascus would “exert every effort to liberate” the citizens held hostage by terrorists in eastern Aleppo, adding, "It therefore rejects any attempt by any side to reach a cease-fire in east Aleppo that would not include the exit of all terrorists.”
The statement was released one day after Russia and China vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a seven-day ceasefire in Aleppo, with Moscow emphasizing that the pause would only permit the militants to regroup.
Elsewhere in its statement, the Syrian Foreign Ministry "appreciated" the double veto of the motion and noted that it would have only granted the terrorists “the opportunity to regroup and commit their crimes again."

U.S. buying time for militants to re-arm

Separately on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov referred to the planned negotiations between Moscow and Washington on the cessation of hostilities in militant-held eastern Aleppo, saying that the U.S. "retracted the initial document and now they have a new document, which … brings back all of our previous concerns."
Lavrov made the remarks in a joint press conference with Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland following a meeting in Moscow.
He further denounced the U.S. effort to secure a pause in Aleppo fighting as "an attempt to buy time for militants to give them breathing space and be able to replenish their ammunition."
The top Russian diplomat also warned that Aleppo terrorists would be wiped out unless they quit the city, saying, "There is no other way."
On Monday, a militant attack on a Russian mobile hospital in Aleppo left two medical staff dead and several others injured.
Touching on the assault, Lavrov argued that "it was an orchestrated action planned by those who attempt to preserve their positions in Aleppo under the patronage of some Western countries.”
--------Aleppo situation ‘disgrace’ for international community
In another development on Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the international community had failed to alleviate the suffering of Aleppo residents.
"It is a disgrace that we have been unable to establish humanitarian corridors, but we must continue to fight for it,” she said.
(Source: agencies)

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