Friday, February 12, 2016

US Rejects Russian Charge That A-10s Hit Aleppo Hospitals

The U.S. military denied Thursday Moscow's charges that A-10 Thunderbolt attack aircraft hit Aleppo, where Syrian regime forces backed by Russian airstrikes have triggered a humanitarian crisis.
"There were no Coalition airstrikes in or near Aleppo on Wednesday.  Any claim that the coalition had aircraft in the area is a fabrication," Army Col. Steve Warren, a spokesman for Combined Joint task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, said in an e-mail statement.
In a later e-mail statement from Baghdad, Warren said that the only U.S. airstrikes ever carried out near Aleppo were in the beginning of the U.S. air campaign in August 2014 and were aimed at the Khorasan group, an Al Qaeda affiliate operating in Syria.
The Russian charges came a day after Warren gave a video briefing to the Pentagon in which he railed against the indiscriminate airstrikes using "dumb bombs" carried out in and around Aleppo by Russian warplanes to support the forces of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Warren singled out Russian strikes that he said hit two hospitals Wednesday, depriving an estimated 50,000 civilians of medical care.
In Moscow, Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a statement that "only aviation of the anti-ISIS coalition flew over the city yesterday (Wednesday)", referring to the U.S.-led alliance of countries fighting the Islamic State terror group.
"Two U.S. Air Force A-10 attack aircraft entered Syrian airspace from Turkish territory. Reaching Aleppo by the most direct path, they made strikes against objects in the city," Kornashenkov said. more