Speed Reads

Crisis in Syria

Russia, China vote against Aleppo ceasefire

A U.N. Security Council proposal aimed at ending the fighting in Aleppo, Syria, was vetoed Monday by Russia and China.

Syrian troops and Iranian-backed militias have made huge strides in Aleppo, with rebels boxed into a small area. Russia is an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and has vetoed several resolutions attempting to stop the violence. Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Monday the proposal did not recognize diplomatic efforts with the United States, and that's why it was vetoed. U.S. Deputy Ambassador Michele Sison called that a "made-up alibi," adding, "We will not let Russia string along the Security Council while waiting for a compromise that never seems to come."

Over the past few weeks, more than 500 civilians have been killed in Aleppo. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said at least 50,000 residents fled the rebel-held area of Aleppo last week, with tens of thousands remaining trapped. The fighting continued Monday in the Old City, with heavy bombing in the al-Zubdiyah neighborhood. As the rebels lose ground, The Washington Post reports they have two options — stay in Aleppo, where they will almost certainly be defeated, or go to the neighboring province of Idlib, a hub of the armed opposition.