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Russia Criticizes International Reaction To Aleppo Field Hospital Shelling

RFE/RL December 06, 2016

Russia is criticizing what it says has been the "more than modest" international reaction after two Russian Army medics were killed in what the Defense Ministry said was rebel shelling of a field hospital in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov singled out the United States on December 6 for what he said was a muted reaction to the "tragedy" the previous day.

"We regret that the world community, including our partners in the United States, are reacting very modestly to the tragedy that unfolded with the attack on the field hospital," Peskov told reporters.

The Russian Defense Ministry said two female army medics, Nadezhda Durachenko and Galina Mikhailova, were killed and a third medic, Vadim Arsentyev, was seriously wounded.

A ministry spokesman claimed on December 5 that it was a planned attack and suggested that the coordinates of the hospital were given to rebels by a foreign power.

U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said any accusation that United States could have done so would be "completely false," adding: "We would never give coordinates to the Syrian opposition."

State-funded Russian media outlet RT said that in response to a request for comment, the International Committee of the Red Cross said the incident indicated that "all sides to the conflict in Syria are failing in their duties to respect and protect health-care workers, patients, and hospitals, and to distinguish between them and military objectives."

Russia's Defense Ministry said that statement was "cynical" and showed the organization was "indifferent to the murder of Russian medics in Aleppo."

Russia has backed the Syrian government throughout the more than five-year civil war and stepped up its support by launching a campaign of air strikes in September 2015.

With reporting by AP, TASS, Interfax, and RT

Source: http://www.rferl.org/a/russia-aleppo-medics- deaths-criticizes/28159440.html

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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