A Russian mobile hospital was hit by shelling on Monday, just days after it was set up to provide assistance to civilians in Aleppo.
Two Russian medics were killed and another seriously injured after around a dozen of shells hit the facility. Civilians attending appointments were also wounded in the attack.
The Russian Defense Ministry ministry said that it attributes blame for the hospital shelling to “terrorists and their patrons in the US, the UK and France.”
The Defense Ministry’s spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov accused the United States of both providing the rebels with the coordinates of the Russian hospital as well as providing the weapons with which it was hit:
“The blood of our soldiers is on the hands of their hirer of the murder. These people who created, supported and armed these beasts in human form, called them ‘opposition’ to justify themselves towards their own conscience and voters.”
Russia Insider reports:
“Yes, the blood of our soldiers is on your, ladies and gentlemen, the patrons of terrorists from the United States, Britain, France and other countries and sympathizers formations, hands.”
And here is footage from directly after the attack. Looks pretty brutal…
Syria recriminations — as well as suspicious incidents — continue. So far we’ve seen US accusing Russia of systematically bombing hospitals and taking out an aid convoy, Russia accusing the US of intentionally massacring ninety Syrian soldiers fighting ISIS, Turkey accusing Syria of bombing Turkish troops, Russia accusing Turkey of ambushing its plane over Syria, and US accusing Syria of using chemical weapons against its civilians — all of which the accused side denies.
So what is the truth of this one? Honestly from here we can’t know. It could be that al-Nusra and associated jihadis got in a lucky shot and killed themselves some Russians. It could even be that the Russian military suspects that but finds it convenient to blame the Americans and turn on some information warfare heat on the other side for a change.
The more disturbing possibility is that Russians are right and telling the truth. Certainly the part about United States providing the artillery with which the deed was done is plausible, even highly probable.
You may recall that after the failure of the first ceasefire agreement in February the US was openly readying a “Plan B” to arm “moderate rebels fighting the Russia-backed regime” with “more-powerful weapons”. Specifically the talk was of dispatching anti-aircraft cannons and powerful ranged artillery.
In fact deliveries of powerful rocket artillery units were later confirmed on multiple occasions by the rebels and have been observed in action before against west Aleppo.
It is highly likely that Russian medical personnel were slain by weapons whose transfer was sanctioned by the United States. As to whether the US provided the coordinates as the Russians claim to believe we can’t know but we can point out this all looks very familiar.
You will recall that US struck Syrian troops in Deir ez-Zor in September allegedly in a case of mistaken identity — yet the attack certainly proved useful to the Department of Defense in burying the Kerry-Lavrov deal which had been signed just days before and which Ash Carter and most of the military were deeply hostile to.
Also of half a dozen amateur map makers tracking the lines of control on the internet not one of them had the Syrian positions which were targeted (and had been static for months) as held by ISIS — somehow the intelligence of the US military was poorer than that of internet amateurs?
With the Syrian army even without Russian air cover being on the cusp of victory in Aleppo, and civilians there contrary to expectations of the western media being jubilant about it too the times are again very critical, even desperate for the would-be regime changers — and right “on schedule” another suspicious incident occurs.
This was certainly a provocation by the rebels to try to provoke Russians into overreacting and providing the western press with plausible atrocity stories which have so far been missing from the story of the fall of eastern Aleppo — question is only how much (and it almost certainly is how much rather than if) did the US do to contribute?