France pushes draft UN resolution on Aleppo ceasefire

France pushes draft UN resolution on Aleppo ceasefire
Russia shows 'no immediate opposition' to fresh attempt to revive Syria's shattered ceasefire.
2 min read
01 October, 2016
Syria's regime have resumed airstrikes on rebel-held part of Aleppo [AFP]

France has discussed a United Nations draft resolution on imposing a ceasefire in Syria's battleground city of Aleppo with Russia, the United States and the two other permanent Security Council members, diplomats said.

The draft text calls for a cessation of hostilities in Aleppo, where the Syrian army has launched an offensive to retake the rebel-held east of the city.

The proposed resolution would also provide for aid deliveries to besieged eastern Aleppo and the grounding of all Syrian and Russian planes in that area. 

A ceasefire monitoring mechanism would be set up with experts from the 20-nation International Syrian Support Group [ISSG] taking part, said a diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"Russia did not show any immediate opposition," said the diplomat. The idea is "not to push Russia to impose a veto but to try to overcome the impasse of mutual accusations" between Moscow and Washington for the collapse of the ceasefire, he said.

Russia has accused the US of protecting extremist groups in Syria, while Washington has in retrn accused Moscow of pushing moderate rebels into the hands of extremists.

"It is not going to be easy," he added. The UN is calling for a weekly 48-hour ceasefire to allow vital humanitarian aid deliveries to reach war-battered civilians in Aleppo. Following the meeting yesterday with the permanent council members including Britain and China, diplomats were to hold negotiations on the text over the weekend, with a draft resolution to be circulated to the full Security Council on Monday.

The new diplomatic push at the UN came as the US said earlier that US-Russia talks to revive the ceasefire deal were "on life support." Moscow has been accused of indiscriminately bombing rebel-held east Aleppo in support of an assault by Syrian government troops aiming to capture all of the country's second city.

According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Syrian regime forces backed by a Russian air campaign have killed more than 3,800 civilians in the past year.