Sabato, 24 Febbraio, 2018

White House: Russia to Blame Even If They Didn't Attack Aid Convoy

Rufina Vignone | 21 Settembre, 2016, 13:25

An aid convoy attacked in Syria was travelling with a militant pick-up truck armed with a heavy mortar, Russian Federation claims.

Yesterday's apparently airstrikes against a United Nations aid convoy, destroying between 18-20 trucks and killing some 14 Red Crescent volunteers took multiple turns today, with the U.S. claiming they believe that a pair of Russian warplanes attacked the convoy, potentially as "revenge" for the American attack on a Syrian military base the day before, which killed 83 soldiers.

Despite the military blame game over Monday's deadly attack, diplomats struggled to save the US-Russian ceasefire agreement that took effect on 12 September.

But Moscow has denied it was behind the raid and released drone footage of what it claimed was the convoy being accompanied by the armed truck.

In the footage, the truck can be seen driving next to the convoy in a manner that it is only visible from one side. The drone moved away to a different area before the strike. "The video clearly shows how the terrorists are relocating a pickup truck with a large-caliber mortar".

Earlier, US Colonel John Thomas said the deaths were not the result of coalition military action, which led him to conclude responsibility lay with Russian Federation or Syria's military. Syria's rebels do not operate an air force.

As an "immediate security measure, other convoy movements in Syria have been suspended", said Jens Laerke, spokesman for the United Nations humanitarian agency in Geneva.

The strike came hours after the Syrian government declared an end to a ceasefire agreement brokered by Russian Federation and the Unites States.

Four medics were killed and a nurse was critically wounded when an air strike hit a clinic in a village near Syria's second city Aleppo, the aid group that runs it said. The Syrian government too says there is "no truth" in the claim the Syrian military targeted the convoy.

Senior officials from 23 countries gathered for a one-hour meeting on Syria at a hotel in NY last night, and the prospect of the cessation of hostilities being renewed was in doubt.

US Foreign Secretary John Kerry came out from a meeting with the Syria Support Group on Tuesday morning insisting the ceasefire deal is "not dead".

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