08:00 GMT12 April 2021
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    Belgium’s opposition lawmakers called on the government on Wednesday to be more transparent about its military operations in Syria after accusations of killing civilians near Aleppo.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Russian military claimed Tuesday that Belgian Air Force F-16s were suspected of killing at least six in an airstrike on the northern Syrian village of Hassajek. Belgian Defense Minister Steven Vandeput dismissed this as propaganda.

    Dirk van der Maelen and Alain Top, members of the leftist Socialist Party Differently (sp.a.), wrote in a communique that they trusted the minister’s word, although "as long as Belgium does not disclose the location where it conducts bombardments, Belgium’s involvement cannot be entirely ruled out."

    The Flemish socialists cited a report by Airwars, a UK-based monitor for Syria, as saying that Belgium was the least transparent member of the US-led coalition fighting Islamists in Syria after Bahrain.

    They said Belgium’s government only informed the national parliament about military operations after attacks were made, without disclosing any details about their timing or impact.

    Russia’s reconciliation center in Syria said neither Russian nor Syrian warplanes were operating in the area at the time of Tuesday's airstrike, but added two Belgian F-16s were spotted. Likewise, Minister Vandeput insisted that the Belgian Air Force was not active in the area that day.

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    Tags:
    airstrikes, military action, Aleppo, Belgium
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