US ac­cuses Rus­sia, Syria of war crimes; France asks UN vote

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

The United States called Fri­day for a war crimes in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Rus­sia and Syria, ramp­ing up rhetoric against Moscow for its part in a deadly mil­i­tary of­fen­sive in Aleppo while po­ten­tially mak­ing it harder to restart di­plo­matic ef­forts to end the con­flict.

Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry said Syr­ian forces hit a hospi­tal overnight, killing 20 peo­ple and wound­ing 100, de­scrib­ing what would be the lat­est strike by Rus­sia or its ally in Da­m­as­cus on a civil­ian tar­get. A spokesman said the at­tack oc­curred Thurs­day out­side Da­m­as­cus, while hu­man rights groups ac­cuse the pair of killing thou­sands in their as­sault on Aleppo, Syria’s largest city.

“Rus­sia and the regime owe the world more than an ex­pla­na­tion about why they keep hit­ting hos­pi­tals and med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties, and chil­dren and women,” Kerry said.

French For­eign Min­is­ter JeanMarc Ayrault spoke of a French ef­fort for a cease-fire that would in­clude a U.N. Se­cu­rity Coun­cil vote to­day.

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