Moscow Says Russian Medics Killed In Aleppo Attack, Blames Rebels And West
December 05, 2016
The Russian Defense Ministry says two Russian female army medics were killed on December 5 and a third medic was seriously wounded in what it said was the rebel shelling of a field hospital in the Syrian city of Aleppo.
The Russian military blamed Western nations that it said "support" rebels fighting against the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government.
The ministry's chief spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov, claimed that rebels deliberately directed artillery fire at the mobile field hospital in a government-held district after it began receiving civilians. He said there was a direct hit on the reception area.
Konashenkov said that the United States, Britain, and France and other nations he called "patrons of terrorists" bore responsibility for the deaths, saying that "the blood of our service members" is on their hands.
He did not provide evidence to support the claim that the field hospital was deliberately targeted, or that it was hit by rebel fire.
Konashenkov also called on the international community to condemn what he called the "premeditated murder" of Russian army medics in Aleppo.
The UN and medical charities have repeatedly called on all sides of the Syrian conflict not to target medical facilities.
Russia has been flying air raids in Syria since September 2015 and has provided the longtime ally Bashar al-Assad's forces with other military support during the more than five-year-old war that has killed at least 250,000 people.
Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, TASS, and Interfax
Copyright (c) 2016. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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