October 3, 2016 / 4:04 PM / a year ago

UN to discuss urging end to all military flights over Syria's Aleppo

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 3 (Reuters) - The United Nations Security Council will begin negotiations on Monday on a draft resolution that urges Russia and the United States to ensure an immediate truce in Syria's Aleppo and to "put an end to all military flights over the city."

The draft text, seen by Reuters, also asks U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon to propose options for a U.N.-supervised monitoring of a truce and threatens to "take further measures" in the event of non-compliance by "any party to the Syrian domestic conflict."

The 15-member council will begin talks on the text - drafted by France and Spain - on Monday afternoon, diplomats said.

It was not immediately clear how Russia and China would respond to the draft, diplomats said. Both countries have previously protected the Syrian government from council action by blocking several resolutions, including a bid to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has said that any state that opposes the resolution would be deemed complicit in war crimes.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces, backed by support from Russia and Iran, have been battling for control of eastern Aleppo. Capturing the rebel-held half of Syria's largest city, where more than 250,000 civilians are trapped, would be the biggest victory of the five-year civil war for Assad's forces.

East Aleppo came under siege in early July after its main supply route, the Castello Road, fell under government control.

International attempts to establish ceasefires to allow in United Nations humanitarian aid have failed, although other aid groups have brought in limited supplies.

The relentless Russian and Syrian air campaign has badly damaged hospitals and water supplies. (Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Alan Crosby)

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