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Russia vetoes UNSC statement on attacks by Syrian regime

Russia has vetoed a UK-drafted statement at the UN Security Council denouncing attacks by the Syrian regime forces on Aleppo in the north of Syria, UN diplomats told Reuters Wednesday.


A diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Council was unable to reach a statement on the issue "because Russia was clearly insisting that the statement must not mention what happened in Aleppo."

The statement, proposed by the UK, expressed the Council's outrage over the daily attacks by Assad on Aleppo, which caused more than 700 deaths and more than 15,000 casualties since December 15.

It also condemned the indiscriminate use of heavy weapons such as Scud rockets and explosive barrels in the densely populated Aleppo. It considered that a "systematic contempt of international humanitarian law by Syria."

According to the proposed statement, which did not see the light, the Council called upon the Syrian regime and the opposition to facilitate the distribution of humanitarian aid across the country. It also welcomed the potential convention of the peace conference scheduled for January 22 in the Swiss cities Montreux and Geneva.

The non-binding statement requires the approval of all the 15 UNSC member states. But Russia refused to condemn its Syrian ally, which led the UK to withdraw the statement.

On December 19, Russia blocked a similar statement proposed by the US that would have condemned attacks by the Syrian regime on civilians.

Previously, Russia and China had vetoed three UNSC resolutions against Syria.

Source: Reuters and Felesteen

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