Syria army denies striking aid convoy in Aleppo

Damascus, Sep 20 (IANS) The Syrian army on Tuesday denied it had launched air strikes on UN humanitarian aid convoys in the Aleppo province, media reported.

The army said the reports about air strikes on an aid convoy in the northern countryside of Aleppo were baseless, Xinhua news agency reported.

UN officials said the UN and Red Crescent convoy was delivering assistance for 78,000 people in the town of Uram al-Kubra, west of Aleppo city.

Initial estimates indicate that at least 18 of the 31 trucks in the convoy were hit, as well as the Red Crescent warehouse in the area.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 12 persons were killed in the attack, mostly truck drivers and Red Crescent workers.

In a joint statement, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said they were outraged by the “horrific attack”.

“The attack deprived thousands of civilians of much-needed food and medical assistance,” the joint statement said.

UN special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura said: “Our outrage at this attack is enormous … the convoy was the outcome of a long process of permission and preparations to assist isolated civilians,” Press TV reported.

On Tuesday, SARC said it will suspend operations for three days as a result of the attack.

All UN humanitarian operations on Syrian territory are to remain suspended following an attack against an aid convoy, said a spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs on Tuesday.

The incident came at the end of a week-long ceasefire brokered by the US and Russia.

–IANS

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