Aid convoy attacked as Syria ceasefire collapses
A CONVOY delivering aid to Syrians in Aleppo province was hit by a deadly air strike hours after the Syrian military declared an end to a week-long ceasefire, with an outraged United Nations warning it could amount to a war crime.
The UN said 18 trucks in the 31-vehicle convoy were destroyed on September 19 en route to delivering humanitarian assistance to the hardto-reach town of Orum al-Kubra.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 12 Red Crescent volunteers and drivers had died in the strike while UN aid chief Stephen O’Brian said initial reports indicated “many people” were killed or seriously wounded.
“If this callous attack is found to be a deliberate targeting of humanitarians, it would amount to a war crime,” Mr O’Brian said.
The observatory was unable to confirm if the planes responsible were Syrian or Russian.
The UN and Syrian Arab Red Crescent humanitarian mission had sought to take advantage of the ceasefire, which collapsed on September 19 as shells and bombs rained on Aleppo city and the surrounding province.
The observatory said a total of 36 people had died in the violence across the battleground region.
Syria’s military announced the end to the truce earlier September 19, accusing rebels of more than 300 violations and failing to “commit to a single element” of the US-Russia deal.
The ceasefire, which came into force on September 12, saw an initial drop in fighting but violence began to escalate late last week and the deal came under severe strain over the weekend.
The UN said yesterday it had suspended all humanitarian aid convoys after the air raid which killed a Red Crescent staff member and civilians.
As an “immediate security measure, other convoy movements in Syria have been suspended”, Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the UN humanitarian agency, told reporters in Geneva.
Aid is seen strewn across the ground in the town of Orum al-Kubra on the western Aleppo yesterday, the morning after a convoy delivering aid was hit by a deadly air
outskirts of the northern Syrian city of strike.