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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

UN Calls for War Crime Probe Into Strike on Syrian School

By VOA News October 27, 2016

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for an investigation Thursday into an air strike on a school in Syria that killed more than 20 people, most of them children, the day before.

"If deliberate, this attack may amount to a war crime," Ban said in a statement from his spokesman.

Former British prime minister Gordon Brown also called for a war crimes investigation, calling the attack the "worst assault on school children among 98 separate attacks on Syrian schools in the last two years."

Warplanes carried out six strikes Wednesday on a village in rebel-held Idlib, including on a school complex, leaving six teachers and 22 of their students dead, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Both the observatory and the White House have said that either the Syrian or Russian governments are responsible for the attacks.

"We don't know yet that it was the Assad regime or the Russians that carried out the air strike, but we know it was one of the two," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

But Russian defense ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Russian warplanes did not enter the airspace over the school at the time in question, also claiming that footage from a Russian drone of the damaged site was not consistent with an air strike, according to Russian agencies.

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