Syria conflict: US blames Russia for Syrian aid convoy attack

10:33 Sep. 21, 2016

US blames Russia for Syrian aid convoy attack

The image shows a damaged vehicle, in Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016 (AP photo)

Washington warns the bombing could end the fragile ceasefire deal

The United States believes two Russian aircraft attacked an aid convoy near Aleppo in a strike that shattered a one-week truce, U.S. officials said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

"We hold the Russian government responsible for air strikes in this space, given that their commitment under the cessation of hostilities was to certainly ground air operations where humanitarian assistance is flowing," White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters on Tuesday.

He added the United States prefers to continue with the ceasefire in Syria, but is concerned by Russia's failure to show good faith.

The incident, in which 18 trucks from a 31-vehicle aid convoy were destroyed, looked likely to deal a death blow to diplomatic efforts to halt a civil war now in its sixth year.

Two Russian Sukhoi SU-24 warplanes hovered in the skies above the aid convoy at the exact time it was struck late on Monday, two U.S. officials told Reuters, citing U.S. intelligence that led them to conclude Russia was to blame.

Russia's foreign ministry spokeswoman denied the assertion, telling reporters at the United Nations the US administration "has no facts" to support the claim, adding: "We have nothing to do with this situation."

20 civilians were killed in the bombing including a senior official of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.


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