Russia vetoes UN resolution to halt Aleppo airstrikes

A Syrian man sits on the rubble of destroyed buildings after a government forces airstrike in Aleppo on October 4, 2016.

Story highlights

  • The UK ambassador says Russia abused its veto power
  • A counterresolution by Russia failed to get the votes to pass

(CNN)Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution Saturday that demanded a halt to Syrian government air attacks in Aleppo and called for access for humanitarian aid.

The British ambassador to the United Nations, Matthew Rycroft, accused Russia of abusing its veto power.
    "In the end, no resolution of this Security Council can end this war. The only thing that can end this war is a change of policy in Moscow," he said after the veto.
    A separate counterresolution by Russia that did not call for a halt in airstrikes on Aleppo failed to get the necessary votes to pass.
    "It was one weird day" at the Council, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said after the failed vote and his veto. He called it a "strange spectacle."
    The Russian veto had been expected as Russia and the United States have been fighting over Russia's support of the Assad regime.
    Friday, US Secretary of State John Kerry said airstrikes by Syrian troops with Russian support should be investigated as war crimes as they hit hospitals and civilians.
    "This is a targeted strategy to terrorize civilians and to kill anybody and everybody who is in the way of their military objectives," Kerry said.
    French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault also condemned the attacks and said the conflict has reached a "moment of truth" for the Council.
    Syria's regime says it is targeting terrorists in besieged Aleppo, a stronghold of opposition forces fighting the regime.
    "Everyone knows that there is only one way to save Aleppo and that is for an immediate end to the aerial bombardment that the Syrian regime and their Russian backers are pursuing," Rycroft said Saturday.