Russia furious as US blames it for Syria aid strike
At least 18 trucks in a 31-vehicle convoy were destroyed late Monday as they delivered humanitarian assistance to civilians in Orum al-Kubra in the Aleppo region, according to the UN.
Washington said the alleged air strike could only have been carried out by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime or his Russian allies and that Moscow must take responsibility either way.
The Russian foreign ministry said it was watching “with indignation and anger” at attempts by “protectors of terrorists and bandits” to blame Russia or Syria for the attack.
The “unsubstantiated, hasty accusations” seemed designed to “distract attention from the strange ‘error’ of coalition pilots,” said the statement issued on Tuesday, referring to the US-led coalition that struck a Syrian army position at the weekend killing dozens of soldiers.
The Russian military, which is investigating the incident, said that footage from activists at the scene showed damage to the vehicles that did not appear to come from an air strike or other munitions.
Instead, the fire that tore through the convoy happened “strangely at the same time insurgents were carrying out a large-scale attack on Aleppo,” <g data-gr-id="13">defence</g> ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.