News

Russia blamed for air strikes in Syria

COWARDLY ACT: Two of the 18 trucks hit by air strikes while carrying aid to the Syrian city of Aleppo.
COWARDLY ACT: Two of the 18 trucks hit by air strikes while carrying aid to the Syrian city of Aleppo. Uncredited

THE US believes Russian warplanes were responsible for an attack on a United Nations aid convoy operated by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, officials have told CNN.

At least a dozen aid workers are thought to have been killed by the air strike, which occurred near Aleppo on Monday, hours after the breakdown of a ceasefire brokered by the US and Russia.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon described the incident as "sickening, savage and apparently deliberate” and said the UN had suspended its aid convoys following the attack.

Speaking to world leaders at the UN General Assembly in New York, he said: "The humanitarians delivering life-saving aid were heroes. Those who bombed them were cowards.”

The bombing was initially blamed on either Russia or Syria's Assad regime. Both have denied that their planes carried out the strike, but the US has reportedly reached the "preliminary conclusion” that two Russian Su-24 jets were responsible, based on the timing and location of the attack.

The strike hit at least 18 of the 31 trucks in the convoy, which was bringing food relief from UN stores to the town of Urm al-Kubra, west of Aleppo, in an area controlled by rebel groups.

The attack came amid a resumption of hostilities following the fragile, week- long ceasefire, which it was hoped would mark the beginning of the end of Syria's bloody five-year civil war.

The Russian Defence Ministry said its intelligence services had studied drone footage from the incident and did not see evidence of munitions hitting the convoy. The damage inflicted on the trucks was "the direct result of the cargo catching fire” at the same time as a large-scale rebel attack on Aleppo, Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.

A section of the Russian footage was also released, which Mr Konashenkov said clearly showed rebels driving a pick-up truck and a mortar, using the convoy as cover.

The US had already made it clear on Monday night that it held Moscow responsible for the deaths, regardless of whose planes carried out the strike.

"We don't know at this point whether it was the Russians or the regime. In either case, the Russians have the responsibility certainly to ... refrain from taking such action themselves, but they also have the responsibility to keep the regime from doing it,” a US State Department statement said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, who personally negotiated the truce during months of intensive diplomacy with Russia, spoke about the crumbling ceasefire after emerging alongside Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov from a meeting of foreign ministers of 20 countries, gathered to discuss Syria in New York on Tuesday.

Mr Kerry insisted the ceasefire was "not dead” despite the attack, in which a Red Crescent warehouse and health clinic were also seriously damaged, and aid supplies for thousands of people were destroyed.

THE INDEPENDENT

Topics:  airstrikes, russia, syria


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Walt Secord rejects Tony Abbott's call for shark cull

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has called for a shark cull on the North Coast.

Tony Abbott called for a shark cull on the North Coast

How can we prevent shark attacks on the North Coast?

Multiple people attended the scene at Lighthouse Beach where a shark attack took place around 9:30 on Monday morning. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

How can further shark attacks on the North Coast be prevented?

Break strings, not hearts

Ukulele player A. J. Leonard and cellist Jenny Rowling.

Master ukulelist visits this week

Local Partners

Theatre lives to thrill another day

BRUNSWICK Picture Theatre looks set to stay open as the owners and Byron council work together to resove outstanding DA issues.

Byron Bay Chamber of Commerce AGM

BYRON CHAMBER: Bjorn Peterson- Woody's Surf Shack, Felicity Davies- Lease Boutique, Dan McGill- Byron Bazaar, Gavin Barber- Ruskin House, Deborah Benhayon- DB Inner Designs, Simon Cook- Birddog Marketing, Gail Fuller (President)- Byron Coastal Real Estate, Fin Murray- Architect Fin. Photo: Clayton Lloyd.

The Byron Chamber of Commerce AGM is on this week.

Walt Secord rejects Tony Abbott's call for shark cull

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has called for a shark cull on the North Coast.

Tony Abbott called for a shark cull on the North Coast

How can we prevent shark attacks on the North Coast?

Multiple people attended the scene at Lighthouse Beach where a shark attack took place around 9:30 on Monday morning. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

How can further shark attacks on the North Coast be prevented?

Break strings, not hearts

Ukulele player A. J. Leonard and cellist Jenny Rowling.

Master ukulelist visits this week

More Northern River schools needed to be counted in

John Foreman and Jay Laga'aia at a songwriting workshop earlier this year.

Music - Count Us In will be held in November

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Give Showgirl challenge a go to support Mullumbimby

COMMUNITY COMMITMENT: Mullumbimby Show Girl 2015, Erin Dousling.

Erin urges others to get involved in Mullumbimby show.

De La Soul: The hippies of hip hop in Byron

ICONS: American hip hop band De La Soul are Vincent Mason, Kelvin Mercer, David Jude Jolicoeur.

The American trio is an icon of contemporary urban music.

Homer Simpson thanks Australia during Opera House visit

Homer Simpson visits the Sydney Opera House.

ANIMATION favourite gets attacked by seagulls in viral video.

Theatre lives to thrill another day

LET US STAY: Brunswick Picture House owners Brett Haylock and Chris Chen with supporter Guy Kable want the theatre to stay open.

Local theatre may continue to operate after council discussions.

Channel 9 orders second season of Doctor Doctor

Rodger Corser stars in the TV series Doctor Doctor.

RURAL medical drama finds a loyal following.

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

Break strings, not hearts

Ukulele player A. J. Leonard and cellist Jenny Rowling.

Master ukulelist visits this week

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction

Peppers Airlie Beach put on the market

ON THE MARKET: Peppers Airlie Beach is being for recievership sale by CBRE Hotels and PRD Nationwide Airlie Beach.

Peppers Airlie Beach is being offered for sale.

3500 jobs on the way with new $950 million resort

Residential, tourist, community, and open space on Hummock Hill Island.

PROPERTY developers plan to begin construction next year.