The United States accused Russia of being the direct cause of terror in Aleppo. after Russia vetoed a French-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution on Saturday that would have demanded an end to air strikes and military flights over the Syrian city.
There are about 275,000 people trapped by the siege of eastern Aleppo, where civilians are suffering through daily bombing, including by bunker-buster and incendiary weapons, and through starvation, as limited supplies run out and aid convoys are blocked from the city.
Russia vetoed a French-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution on Saturday that would have demanded an end to air strikes and military flights over Aleppo.
The Russian foreign ministry said the Franco-Spanish resolution “distorted” the real situation in Syria, and that a ban on aerial bombardment would “provide cover to terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra” and allied militants.
“Russia has become one of the chief purveyors of terror in Aleppo, using tactics more commonly associated with thugs than governments,” U.S. Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations David Pressman told the council.
He said Russia was “intent on allowing the killing to continue and, indeed, participating in carrying it out” and that what was needed from Moscow was “less talk and more action from them to stop the slaughter.”
The United States on Monday suspended talks with Russia on implementing a ceasefire deal in Syria, accusing Moscow of not living up to its commitments to halt fighting and ensure aid reached besieged communities.
The United kingdom also expressed their anger about the Russian veto too.
“Normally I begin my statement with, ‘Thank you Mr President’,” Matthew Rycroft, the UK ambassador to the UN, said at the start of his remarks. “I cannot do this today.”
“This council cannot stand by while such misery is meted out on the people of Aleppo. And yet, thanks to you, Mr President, that is exactly what we are doing,” Rycroft told the council. “Thanks to your actions today, Syrians will continue to lose their lives in Aleppo and beyond to Russian and Syrian bombing. Please stop now.”
The Assad regime forces, backed by Russian air power, Iranian ground forces and Shi’ite militia fighters from Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon, has been tightening its grip on rebel-held districts of Aleppo this year, and this summer achieved a long-held goal of fully encircling the area.
Recovering full control of the rebels’ last significant urban area would be the most important victory of the war so far for Assad, strengthening his control over Syria’s most populous and strategically important regions.