U.S.-led coalition drone was in area of UN convoy bombing – Russian Defense Ministry

21.09.2016, Syria.

A drone of the U.S.-led coalition in Syria was in the area where UN humanitarian column was attacked at the time when it caught fire, the official representative of Russian Defense Ministry major general Igor Konashenkov, RIA Novosti news agency reports.

According to Konashenkov, “Categorical verbal accusations by the Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications for U.S. President Mr. Ben Rhodes, who accused Russia of striking the humanitarian convoy in Aleppo from air, as well as the leak of the American side regarding the alleged presence of Su-24 airplanes there, compel us to uncover the delicate details of the tragic incident of September 19.

Russian planes didn’t plan and didn’t strike in the area of Urm Al-Kubra. This is why there weren’t any of them in that area at all,” the official representative of the Defense Ministry noted during his briefing.

More than that, on the evening of September 19 a representative of U.S. Air Force, a colonel, was informed about this in detail during a phone talk with a Russian representative of the Command of the air group on ‘Khmeimim’ air base,” Konashenkov continued.

On the evening of September 19, a combat drone of the international coalition, which took off from the Turkish Incirlik Air Base, was present exactly in this area (area where the humanitarian convoy was – Editor), at a height of 3600 meters and moving with the speed of approximately 200 kilometers per hour,” Konashenkov informed.

According to him, based on its “radar cross-section” the drone was identified by air control systems as a “Predator” type drone.

Konashenkov specified that the drone turned up in the area of Urm Al-Kubra, where the column was, a few minutes before it caught fire and left it approximately 30 minutes later.

I want to emphasize that, just like in the case of the tragedy in Deir ez-Zor on September 17, when over 200 people were killed and injured as a result of a strike by the coalition, we do not make baseless conclusions. Its owners know what was the purpose of that drone at that point at that time and what were its tasks,” the representative of the Defense Ministry claimed.

According to him, this type of drones can not only monitor the situation, but also guide the ground weapons, as well as inflict high-precision strikes at ground objects.

Now I want to point your attention to certain patters. In the past few days baseless accusations of Russia in supposedly random bombing of Syria (for example, today in Khan Tuman) grow exponentially. This approach is well-known. Its motives are obvious,” the representative of the Defense Ministry noted.

The West, according to Konashenkov, does everything to conceal the tragedy in Deir ez-Zor and intentionally distract attention of the world community from the launch of an assault on Aleppo by Jabhat al-Nusra (Organization banned in Russia) terrorists.

The joint convoy of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the humanitarian organizations of the UN was hit in the area of Urm Al-Kubra, north-west of Aleppo, overnight into Tuesday. The convoy consisted of 31 truck and was delivering the aid for 78 thousand people. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, 18 trucks were destroyed, at least 20 people were killed.

U.S. claims that either the Syrian forces of Russian Aerospace forces attacked the convoy.

Dmitry Peskov, the press-secretary of the President of Russia, said that the allegations are baseless. Russian Defense Ministry also claimed that Russian and Syrian aviation didn’t strike the humanitarian convoy.


Source: RIA Novosti

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