Aid con­voy at­tacked as Syria cease­fire col­lapses

> Rus­sian or Syr­ian planes said to bomb Aleppo

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

DA­M­AS­CUS: Syr­ian or Rus­sian air­craft struck an aid con­voy near Aleppo on Mon­day and killed 12 peo­ple, ac­cord­ing to a war mon­i­tor, as the Syr­ian mil­i­tary de­clared a one-week truce bro­kered by the United States and Rus­sia over.

The United Na­tions con­firmed the con­voy was hit but gave no de­tails on who car­ried out the at­tack or how many died as world lead­ers con­verged on New York for their an­nual UN gath­er­ing un­der the shadow of fresh vi­o­lence in Syria.

The Syr­ian Ob­ser­va­tory for Hu­man Rights mon­i­tor­ing group said the at­tacks were car­ried out by ei­ther Syr­ian or Rus­sian air­craft, adding that there had been 35 strikes in and around Aleppo since the truce ended.

A hu­man­i­tar­ian aid group said the death toll was higher. Four­teen Syr­ian Arab Red Cres­cent vol­un­teers were killed, El­hadj As Sy, sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the In­ter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of Red Cross and Red Cres­cent So­ci­eties, told a UN sum­mit.

At least 18 of 31 trucks in a UN and Syr­ian Arab Red Cres­cent con­voy were hit along with an SARC ware­house, UN spokesman Stephane Du­jar­ric said.

The con­voy was de­liv­er­ing aid for 78,000 peo­ple in the hard-to-reach town of Urm al-Kubra in Aleppo, he said.

UN aid chief Stephen O’Brien said ini­tial re­ports in­di­cated many peo­ple had been killed or se­ri­ously wounded, in­clud­ing SARC vol­un­teers, and that if the “cal­lous at­tack” was found to be de­lib­er­ate it amount to a war crime.

“No­ti­fi­ca­tion of the con­voy ... had been pro­vided to all par­ties to the con­flict and the con­voy was clearly marked as hu­man­i­tar­ian,” he said in a state­ment, call­ing for an im­me­di­ate, in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The at­tack ap­peared to sig­nal the im­mi­nent col­lapse of the lat­est ef­fort to halt Syria’s six-year-old civil war.

“We don’t know if it can be sal­vaged,” a se­nior White House of­fi­cial said of the ef­fort by the US and Rus­sia, which back op­po­site sides in the con­flict.

“At this point the Rus­sians have to demon­strate very quickly their se­ri­ous­ness of pur­pose be­cause oth­er­wise there will be noth­ing to ex­tend and noth­ing to sal­vage.”

Moscow sup­ports Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar al-As­sad with its air force.

The Syr­ian mil­i­tary could not im­me­di­ately be reached for com­ment on the at­tack but said the seven-day truce pe­riod had ended. – Reuters

A dam­aged truck car­ry­ing re­lief sup­plies is seen on the side of the road in the town of Urm al-Kubra on the western out­skirts of Aleppo on Mon­day.

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