Syria's army Tuesday denied bombing a convoy of aid trucks in the northern province of Aleppo the previous evening, an incident the UN said could amount to a war crime.
“There is no truth to media reports that the Syrian army targeted a convoy of humanitarian aid in Aleppo province,” state media said, citing a military source.
The denial came shortly after Moscow said neither Russian nor Syrian jets bombed the aid convoy, which was carrying assistance destined for tens of thousands of people in northern Syria.
At least 18 trucks in the 31-vehicle convoy were destroyed, according to the United Nations, which was carrying out the aid delivery alongside the Red Cross and Syrian Red Crescent.
The Red Crescent said the raids killed around 20 people including one of its staff members.
“Much of the aid was destroyed,” the humanitarian organisation said, stressing that “the attack deprives thousands of civilians of much-needed food and medical assistance.”
Omar Barakat, who headed the SARC’s sub-branch on Orum where the attack took place, “succumbed to his injuries and died,” spokesman Benoit Carpentier told reporters in Geneva.
UN aid chief Stephen O’Brien said that if the attack was found to be a deliberate strike on humanitarians, “it would amount to a war crime”.
The raid came hours after Syria’s army declared an end to the week-long ceasefire brokered by Moscow and Washington.
© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse
Support DAILY MAVERICK & get FREE UBER vouchers every month
An increasingly rare commodity, quality independent journalism costs money, though not nearly as much as its absence can cost global community. No country can live and prosper without truth - that's why it matters.
Every Daily Maverick article and every Scorpio exposé is proof of our dedication to this unshakeable mission. Investing in our news media is by far the most effective investment into South Africa's future.
You can support Independent and Investigative journalism by joining Maverick Insider. If you contribute R150 or more per month you will receive R100 back in UBER vouchers. EVERY MONTH until October 2019.
So, if you'd like to help and do something meaningful for yourself and your country, then sign up to become a Maverick Insider. Together we can Defend Truth.
Game publisher Electronic Arts has been voted "The Worst Company in America" two years in a row 2012 and 2013.