Russia threatened Sunday to veto a U.N. resolution demanding immediate access to areas of Aleppo besieged by the Syrian government, while a shaky deal to evacuate thousands of trapped civilians was thrown into doubt again after militants burned buses involved in the rescue operation.
The Aleppo evacuations were to have been part of a wider deal that would simultaneously allow more than 2,000 sick and wounded people to leave two pro-government villages that have been besieged by Syrian rebels. Most villagers are Shiite Muslims, while most rebels are Sunni Muslims.
Six buses that were among those poised to enter the villages of Foua and Kfarya on Sunday were set on fire by unidentified militants, presumably to scuttle any deal.
A video posted online showed armed men near the burning buses as celebratory gunshots rang out. “The buses that came to evacuate the apostates have been burned,” the narrator of the video said. He warned that no “Shiite pigs” would be allowed to leave the towns.
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