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.