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    Aerial image of a neighborhood damaged by Turkish airstrikes in the northern Syrian town of al-Bab, in Aleppo province, Syria (File)

    UNSC Action Following Aleppo Convoy Attack Investigation Needed - Watchdog

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    The UNSC must act in response to the investigation into the fall attack on the humanitarian convoy near Syrian Aleppo.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The UN-Syrian Arab Red Crescent aid convoy on September 19 came under fire in the area of ​​Urum al-Kubra, northwest of Aleppo. The UN Secretary-General launched an independent investigation into the attack, the results of which, published in December, were inconclusive.

    "Despite the international outrage generated by the attack, there has been a shocking lack of follow-up on the December report’s findings. This lack of action sends states the message that you can bomb an UN aid convoy – even one that’s been approved – and get away with it… Council members should put the Syrian government and permanent Security Council member Russia on the spot, demanding they respond to the evidence as to which of them was responsible for the attack," Deputy United Nations Director at Human Rights Watch (HRW) Akshaya Kumar said.

    Citing its own research, based on interviews with survivors, HRW claimed that "only Syrian or Russian air forces were operating in the area at the time, only they could be responsible for the attack."

    The UN Board of Inquiry said in December that it could not identify the attacker and it had no evidence to conclude that "the incident was a deliberate attack on a humanitarian target." According to the report’s summary, aircraft of the US-led international coalition, the Syrian government and Russia had the capabilities to carry out an attack of the kind, while Syria’s armed opposition groups did not have such capability.

    A number of US military officials have claimed Russia was responsible for the attack. White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said the Syrian and Russian governments were the only entities that could have been responsible for it, while Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford pinned the blame on Russia despite having admitted he was not sure who dropped the bombs.

    Moscow has denied the allegations, saying there was no proof to support the claims about Russia’s involvement in the attack.

    The convoy consisted of 31 trucks and was carrying aid for over 78,000 people. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, 18 trucks were destroyed, and at least 20 people died as a result.

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    officials, investigation, attack, Red Crescent, UN, Human Rights Watch, Syria, United States, Aleppo
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