Russia blocks proposed UN resolution on Syria for third time
Russia blocked a British-drafted UN Security Council statement that condemns the Syrian government attacks on the northern city of Aleppo, according to Agence France-Presse.
The statement, which was presented to the council Wednesday, represents the second time in a month that Russia has blocked council efforts to condemn the Syrian regime's air assaults on the country's second largest city that has left at least 700 people dead since Dec. 15.
Britain had drafted and circulated the statement to the council Tuesday, which expresses "'outrage' at [Syrian] government attacks on civilians."
In the statement, the council members "expressed outrage at the daily use of air strikes by the Syrian government against the city of Aleppo which have left over 700 dead and over 3,000 injured since December 15."
A statement, however, cannot be released from the council if any of the 14 members vote against it.
Russia objected to the statement, calling for all Aleppo references to be omitted, according to AFP's diplomat sources, encouraging Britain to subsequently withdraw the statement rather than issue a perfunctory message to the public.
The United States and other Western powers, however has been vocal about issuing some formal statement against the regime, and yet at the same time nervous to release a statement so close to the upcoming peace talks in Switzerland on Jan. 22.
"The Security Council cannot remain quiet on this issue," said one Western diplomat of the new attempt. "The British draft is not anything that anyone should be surprised by."
Syrian regime aircrafts dropped scud missiles and explosive-packed barrels on Aleppo for more than a fortnight targeting schools, markets and hospitals, according to AFP's aid group sources.