Russia, China veto UN resolution demanding Aleppo truce

Russia, China veto UN resolution demanding Aleppo truce
Russia and China were among the nations that vetoed a UN resolution demanding a truce in Syria's Aleppo, as thousands of residents struggled to survive inside the besieged city.
2 min read
06 December, 2016
Russia is a key ally of the Syrian government [AFP]

Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution calling for a seven day ceasefire in the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo, reports revealed on Monday.

Venezuela also voted against the text presented by Spain, Egypt and New Zealand, while Angola abstained, according to AFP.

The news came after Syrian rebels ruled out a withdrawal from eastern Aleppo despite Russia warning it would treat all captured rebels as terrorists.

Two of Aleppo's leading rebel groups have ruled out the withdraw plan and said they would fight to defend Syrians living in the district.

Yasser al-Youssef of the Nour al-Deen al-Zinki rebel group said any proposals "for the exit of rebel groups would be unacceptable".

"It is for the Russians to leave Aleppo, and for the sectarian militias to leave Aleppo and Syria and stop interfering in the internal affairs of Syrians," he told AFP.

In another comment, Abu Abdel Rahman al-Hamawi of the Jaish al-Islam  said the revolutionaries would not leave Aleppo and "will fight the Russian and Iranian occupation until the last drop of blood".

"This is our land and the land of our ancestors, and we will stay on it, and defend it, God willing," he said. "The revolution will continue until victory."

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said those fighters that did not leave East Aleppo would be subject to the full wrath or the Russian and Syrian regime war planes and militias.

"Those armed groups who refuse to leave eastern Aleppo will be considered to be terrorists," Lavrov said, according to Reuters. "We will treat them as such, as terrorists, as extremists and will support a Syrian army operation against those criminal squad."

"We believe that when the Americans proposed their initiative for militants to leave eastern Aleppo, they realised what steps they and their allies, who have an influence on militants stuck in eastern Aleppo, would have to take it."

Tens of thousands of East Aleppo residents have fled to other parts of the city from the fighting, which has raised widespread international concern.

International aid provisions have been exhausted and other food supplies are dwindling, meaning many residents are surviving on a single meal a day.

Losing Aleppo to regime troops would mark the biggest defeat for rebel forces in Syria's five-year civil war.