Russia blames US, UK, France for militants' hospital shelling in Syria's Aleppo
Iran Press TV
Mon Dec 5, 2016 2:42PM
Two Russian medics have been killed in a militant shelling of a Russian field military hospital in the Syrian city of Aleppo, with Moscow blaming the US, UK and France for the attack.
Russia's Defense Ministry said on Monday that the two female Russian medics were killed in the shelling of the health facility in the government-held part of the Syrian city while two doctors were also severely injured in the attack.
The first female medic was killed on the spot when a shell hit the reception area of the hospital, while the second died from her wounds later, Russia's Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said.
Konashenkov added that the United States, Britain and France were to blame for the attack as they sponsor militant groups in Syria.
"No doubt, the opposition's gunmen carried out the shelling (but) the instigators are also to blame, those who created and armed these beasts in human form and called them 'opposition' in order to unburden themselves," said Konashenkov.
"The sponsors of terrorists in the US, UK and France, as well as other countries sympathizing with them, you are to blame," he said.
The Russian official accused the three Western countries of tipping off the militants about the hospital's location, saying it was quite clear for Moscow "where the militants got the precise data and coordinates" of the Russian hospital at the moment when it started working.
The US, Britain and France have been heavily critical of Russia's assistance to Syria in its drive to liberate Aleppo from the militants. France even drafted a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for the immediate halting of airstrikes by Russia on Aleppo, under the allegation that the aerial military campaign resulted in war crimes. Moscow vetoed the resolution.
Russia has consistently denied the allegations, but has offered to talk with the Westerners on the withdrawal of the militants from eastern Aleppo.
Militants reject withdrawal from Aleppo
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday that Moscow would hold talks with Washington this week on a timeframe for the withdrawal of all militants from Aleppo.
However, militant groups rejected the offer on Monday, saying they would not accept the withdrawal plan.
A militant group calling itself Nureddine al-Zinki said any proposals for the exit of militants would be "unacceptable." Another militant group calling itself the Army of Islam also said the militants would not leave the city until they fully capture it.
The Syrian government has been making sweeping advances in militant-held areas in eastern Aleppo, with recent reports suggesting that the military and its allies have managed to retake two-thirds of the territory that used to be under the control of the militants.
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