Syrian aid convoys halted after deadly attack

Physinews Reports: All aid convoys in Syria have been suspended
after an attack on 18 trucks carrying
humanitarian supplies killed 20 people.

United Nations spokesman Jens Laerke said
Syria's security situation was being
reviewed, adding it had been a "very dark day"
for aid agencies around the world.

The convoy operated by the Syrian Arab Red
Crescent (SARC) was attacked in rebel-held
Urm al Kubra near Aleppo on Monday night.

Witness Mohammed Rasoul said the fleet had
been "erased from the face of the earth".

The attack happened hours after a US-led
airstrike killed 60 Syrian soldiers at the
weekend. America apologised for the bombing,
which occurred on a base near Deir al Zor
airport, insisting that its intended target was
Islamic State fighters.

Britain admitted playing a role in that strike but
the Ministry of Defence insisted it would never
"intentionally" strike Syrian forces.

The US has expressed outrage at
Monday's convoy attack which officials
said could only have been carried out by the
Syrian regime or Russia.

"The destination of this convoy was known to
the Syrian regime and the Russian Federation,"
said State Department spokesman John Kirby.

But a Russian ministry spokesman has
suggested the attack could only have been the
work of militants because "all information on
the whereabouts of the convoy was available
only to the militants controlling these areas".

UN aid chief Stephen O'Brien called for an
investigation warning that the "callous" attack
could amount to a war crime if it found to have
been deliberate.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened the
UN annual General Assembly debate in New
York with a call to end the fighting in Syria as
he condemned the "sickening, savage" attack
on the convoy.

The aid workers were "heroes" he said, adding
that "those who bombed them were cowards,"
before calling for accountability for crimes
committed in the war.

Ban blamed all sides for killing innocent people,
but "none more so than the government of
Syria, which continues to barrel bomb
neighborhoods and systematically torture
thousands of detainees."

US Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting his
Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in New York
where both sides have suggested a
fragile truce between some factions in the war
that was brokered by the two countries could
be salvaged.

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