Europe

UN to vote on rival Syria resolutions _ and likely veto both

  • Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov speaks with a montage showing Secretary of State John Kerry shaking hands with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at rear,  at a briefing in the Defense Ministry in Moscow, Russia,  Friday, Oct. 7, 2016. Antonov said the Russian air strikes in Syria have killed about 35,000 militants, including about 2,700 residents of Russia and other ex-Soviet nations. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

    Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov speaks with a montage showing Secretary of State John Kerry shaking hands with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at rear, at a briefing in the Defense Ministry in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Oct. 7, 2016. Antonov said the Russian air strikes in Syria have killed about 35,000 militants, including about 2,700 residents of Russia and other ex-Soviet nations. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov speaks with a montage showing Secretary of State John Kerry shaking hands with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at rear,  at a briefing in the Defense Ministry in Moscow, Russia,  Friday, Oct. 7, 2016. Antonov said the Russian air strikes in Syria have killed about 35,000 militants, including about 2,700 residents of Russia and other ex-Soviet nations. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

    Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov speaks with a montage showing Secretary of State John Kerry shaking hands with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at rear, at a briefing in the Defense Ministry in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Oct. 7, 2016. Antonov said the Russian air strikes in Syria have killed about 35,000 militants, including about 2,700 residents of Russia and other ex-Soviet nations. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)  (The Associated Press)

The U.N. Security Council will vote Saturday on rival Syria resolutions sponsored by France and Russia and both are virtually certain to be vetoed, leaving the war-ravaged country and the besieged city of Aleppo engulfed in conflict and key powers deeply divided.

Russia's last minute introduction of a rival resolution on Friday afternoon took Western supporters of the French draft by surprise.

Several diplomats privately called it a brilliant move because Moscow is forcing a Western veto as well.

Instead of Russia alone being put in a negative spotlight for vetoing the French resolution aimed at ending the bombing campaign by Syrian and Russian aircraft against rebel-held eastern Aleppo, the Western powers are also highly likely to veto the Russian draft because it makes no mention of a bombing halt.