Just two days after US-coalition forces "mistakenly" attacked a Syrian army post, killing 62 and shortly after the latest Syrian ceasefire ended, a UN aid convoy near Aleppo was struck on Monday allegedly killing 12 people, according to a London-based (and UK-funded) war monitor.
While the United Nations confirmed the convoy was hit, it gave no details on who carried out the attack or how many died as world leaders converged on New York for their annual U.N. gathering under the shadow of fresh violence in the Syrian civil war. However, in an attempt to shift the public's focus on "Russian and Syrian aggression", the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group, the same group which three years ago falsely accused the Assad regime of launching a chemical weapon attack that was "caught" on a YouTube clip, said the attacks were carried out by either Syrian or Russian aircraft.
The US promptly condemned the "Russian attack". Cited by Reuters, a senior Obama admin official said that "we don't know if it can be salvaged," referring to the effort by the United States and Russia, which back opposite sides in the conflict. "At this point the Russians have to demonstrate very quickly their seriousness of purpose because otherwise there will be nothing to extend and nothing to salvage," the official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity.
The plot thickened, however, this morning when the Russian Defense Ministry said Russian and Syrian aircraft did not carry out any airstrikes against a UN humanitarian aid convoy near the city of Aleppo.
"No airstrikes were carried out against a humanitarian aid convoy in a southwestern suburb of Aleppo by Russian or Syrian aviation. Seeing as the convoy’s route lied through the territories controlled by militants, the Russian reconciliation center monitored its passage yesterday via drones," Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Tuesday.
According to the general, the monitoring finished when all humanitarian aid was delivered at around 10:40 GMT.
"Further movements of the convoy were not monitored by the Russian side. Only the militants controlling this area know details of the convoy’s location," Konashenkov added. The examination of video footage reveals no signs of an ammunition strikes on the convoy, he said.
"We have carefully studied videos by so-called activists from the site and found no signs of any ammunition striking the convoy. There are no shell holes, cars' bodies are not damaged and there are no construction faults from the bust wave. All shown on the footage is a direct consequence of the cargo being set on fire. The fire strangely coincided with a major offensive by militants in Aleppo."
The ministry emphasized that the perpetrator of the fire, as well as his goal may be known by members of the "White Helmets" organization that has connection to al-Nusra Front terrorists who have "accidentally" been at the right time and in the right place with cameras.
According to the official, al-Nusra Front terrorist group carried out an artillery attack on the southwestern suburb of Aleppo using multiple launch rocket systems.
At this point there are two possibilities: Russia is lying, or it is telling the truth. And since Russia should be able to back up its claims with video footage, the question emerges: did US-coalition forces or US-backed "moderate rebels" belonging to the al-Nusra, stage the attack a UN convoy in the latest "false flag" attempt to shift attention to "Russian aggression", and seek justification to escalate the military campaign against Syria, and its proxy supporter, Russia?
To be sure, it won't be the first time the US has "made a mistake" - just on Saturday, US-coalition forces apologized for killing dozens of Syrian troops in what Assad called "flagrant American aggression." If confirmed, it will once again demonstrate that the western MIC will stop at nothing to escalate military conflicts, no matter the bodybount, if it means bigger military contracts courtesy of generous US taxpayers.
That said, we don't expect an admission from western forces either, and as such this latest attack will likely remain unclaimed even as any hope of a lasting, or even tentative, peace in Syria is again crushed.