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Russia, Syria did not deliver strikes on UN aid convoy near Aleppo — ministry

September 20, 15:05 UTC+3
Russia’s Defense Ministry has not registered any signs that the UN humanitarian convoy near Aleppo was hit by any munitions
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Damaged trucks carrying aid, in Aleppo

Damaged trucks carrying aid, in Aleppo

© Aleppo 24 news via AP

MOSCOW, September 20. /TASS/. The Russian and Syrian aircrafts have not carried out any airstrikes on the UN humanitarian convoy in the southwest of Syria’s Aleppo, official spokesman for the defense ministry Igor Konashenkov said on Tuesday.

"No airstrikes on the UN humanitarian convoy in the southwestern outskirt of Aleppo were carried out by the Russian or Syrian aviation," Konashenkov said.

The Russian side did not monitor the movement of the UN truck convoy that came under attack near Aleppo after the humanitarian cargo was delivered to that city, he added. 

He explained that the Russian center for the reconciliation of warring factions in Syria kept watch on this convoy using drones, because the route lay across militants-controlled areas.

"At about 13:40 Moscow time all cargoes were safely delivered to the final destination. After that the center for the reconciliation of warring factions in Syria stopped monitoring the convoy. The Russian side did not follow the convoy’s further movements. All information about the convoy’s whereabouts was known only to the militants who control these areas," he said, adding that there are no signs on video from the scene that UN convoy near Aleppo was hit by any ammunition.

"We carefully studied the video recordings of the so-called activists from the scene and found no signs that any munitions hit the convoy," Konashenkov said, explaining that the vehicles have no destruction by the burst wave from an air-delivered munition.

"Everything shown on the video is the direct consequence that the cargo caught fire and this began in a strange way simultaneously with carrying out a massive offensive of militants in Aleppo," he said.

Militants of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group banned in Russia began their offensive on Aleppo at around 7 p.m. Moscow time (1600GMT) on Monday in the direction where the convoy was attacked, Konashenkov said. The militants’ attack was supported by the "powerful fire" of tanks, artillery and multiple artillery rocket systems, he added. 

The answer who was behind this and for what purposes may be provided by the representatives of the White Helmets organization linked to Jabhat al-Nusra who happened to be as usual ‘by accident’ in the right time and in the right place with the video cameras," the general added.

Earlier reports said some 20 civilians and a member of the Syrian Red Crescent were killed in the attack on the convoy. The UN said it could not establish the circumstances of the incident now but "various sources" confirm the fire was opened from artillery weapons. A representative of the US administration said the humanitarian convoy had been hit by an airstrike stressing that the forces of the US-led international coalition were not behind this.

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