US Secretary of State John Kerry demanded an end to Russian and Syrian flights in Syria to save an already doomed ceasefire. Additionally, he blamed Russia and Syria for the bombing of a UN aid convoy, despite new evidence suggesting US responsibility for the attack.
This past Wednesday, John Kerry, US Secretary of State, stared down his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, at a UN Security Council meeting where he demanded an end to Russian and Syrian military action against ISIS targets in Syria. He also revived discredited claims of Russian/Syrian responsibility for the bombing of an aid convoy near Aleppo earlier this week. In the tense televised showdown, Kerry said the bombing of the convoy cast “profound doubt whether Russia and the Assad regime can or will live up to” the already doomed ceasefire, despite the lack of evidence linking Russia and Syria to the bombing.
Kerry went on to say that Lavrov’s statements to the contrary made him feel like he was living in a “parallel universe.” The US has said that the bombings were Russia’s fault whether or not Russia was even involved because the actions of Syrian military forces are their responsibility. However, there currently exists no credible evidence linking the Syrian army to the bombing and both Russia and Syria have aggressively denied the charges. Ironically, this echoes Russia’s earlier claims that the US has failed to rein in the militant groups they support, who have already violated the ceasefire agreement over 300 times.
Russia also filmed the entire aid convoy incident, which is unusual since no country, especially Russia, would intentionally film itself committing war crimes. Interestingly, the footage shows a rebel pick-up truck filled with mortars driving alongside the convoy at the time of the attack. The bombed aid convoy was passing through territory held by the US-backed rebel groups Nour-Al-Din Al-Zeinki and Al-Nusra front when the attack took place. Nour-Al-Din Al-Zeinki has previously beheaded children and Al-Nusra front is linked to Al-Qaeda and are allies of ISIS, making their claims as to who bombed the convoys incredibly suspect.
However, new evidence also suggests that the US itself may have been complicit in the bombings. Unedited footage of the aid convoy bombing shows a characteristic cloud of sparks following the initial explosion. According to veterans and other ex-military personnel, this is a signature of the MAC (Metal-Augmented Charge) Hellfire AGM-114N, typical weaponry used by US predator drones. Russia uses similar types of
ammunition, but Russian thermobaric bombs have different particle debris and blast patterns than those used by the US. This video evidence supports Russian claims that a US predator drone was involved in the attack as one appeared near the convoy only minutes before the attack. MAC Hellfire air-blasts typically don’t leave craters and typically start fires, which would explain the lack of craters and extensive fire damage seen in the footage of the explosion’s aftermath. Due to the characteristic nature of Hellfire explosions, it is concerning that most media outlets ended up airing edited versions of the explosion that left out the spark cloud. Some alternative outlets have also reported that some of the photos showing the bombed convoy were staged.
The aid convoy bombing, as well as Kerry’s harsh words for Russia and Assad, also follow a US-coalition bombing in Syria that killed 62 Syrian soldiers and injured over a hundred more. The incident not only all but doomed the tenuous ceasefire, but also drew accusations that the US is protecting ISIS in Syria and nearly started a new world war. The US blamed the bombing on “bad intel” despite the fact that ISIS soldiers knew in advance the bombing would take place as they immediately engaged the Syrian army following the attack. Russia intervened shortly after by resuming fighting against ISIS to halt their advances in the highly contested area. Russia and Syria have since accused the US of using the aid convoy bombing to distract the public from this “accident” and to advance its regime-change agenda in Syria. In the face of such atrocities and dishonesty, it seems that the US will stop at nothing to get what it wants in Syria.
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