State Dept. Calls UK-Based Rights Watchdog 'Credible' Source on Aleppo Strikes

© REUTERS / Ammar AbdullahSmoke rises from government-controlled New Aleppo neighbourhood, western Aleppo city, Syria November 3, 2016.
Smoke rises from government-controlled New Aleppo neighbourhood, western Aleppo city, Syria November 3, 2016. - Sputnik International
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The United States views the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) as a credible source of information for confirming who is responsible for bombing hospitals in the Syrian city of Aleppo, US Department of State spokesman John Kirby said in a briefing on Tuesday.

A man walks past damaged buildings in the rebel-controlled area of Maaret al-Numan town in Idlib province, Syria, May 15, 2016 - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, Russia's Defense Ministry denied allegations reported by SOHR and Qatari television channel Al Jazeera that claimed Russian combat jets bombed hospitals in Aleppo.

SOHR consists of a single UK-based widely-discredited Syrian immigrant, Rami Abdul Rahman, who is well known for his support for the opposition and efforts to overthrow President Bashar Assad.

"It [information] comes from some credible aid agencies like the World Health Organization, like Doctors without Borders, like the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights," Kirby said when asked if the United States had evidence that Syria and Russia bombed hospitals in Aleppo.

Knowledge is imperfect, Kirby suggested, but the US government has been able to stitch together various sources to get "a good sense" of what is happening on the ground in Syria.

In September, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said SOHR was not a reliable information source on the situation in Syria.

In October 2015, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Western media should treat information emanating from SOHR more critically in light of inaccurate reports about Russian airstrikes.

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