LIVE UPDATES: The previous post in our Putin in Syria column can be found here.
An aid convoy has been destroyed today southwest of Aleppo city, killing 12 people, and video released by the Russian Ministry of Defense appears to show that the convoy was under Russian drone surveillance some time before it was hit by an airstrike.
The BBC describes the impact of the suspected airstrike:
A UN spokesman said at least 18 of 31 trucks had been hit but could not confirm it was by an air strike.
UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said it was an “outrage”.
“The convoy was the outcome of a long process of permission and preparations to assist isolated civilians,” he said in a statement emailed to Reuters.
The Syrian Red Crescent said the convoy had been making a routine delivery from Aleppo to rural rebel-held areas. Images posted online showed what appeared to be aid lorries engulfed by flames.
Syria conflict: Aid convoy 'hit by air strike' near Aleppo – BBC News
Aid trucks have been hit by an air strike near the Syrian city of Aleppo, reports say, hours after the military declared the current cessation of violence was over. The Syrian Red Crescent said the convoy was making a routine delivery from Aleppo to rural rebel-held areas.
The drone appears to watch the vehicles for several minutes before moving on.
A video has been released by the Syrian Civil Defense, AKA The White Helmets, the non-profit organization that rescues Syrians after incidents such as these. According to the video’s description:
“Today, at 7:12 PM, regime helicopters targeted a Syrian Red Crescent warehouse in the town of Urem in the western countryside of Aleppo
A total of four regime helicopters targeted it with 8 barrel bombs.
Russian aircraft then stuck the location with cluster bombs, preventing the civil defense from reaching the location of the attack, giving first aid to those requiring it and removing the dead bodies.
Over 25 vehicles have been burnt and the fire has not yet been put out.
The head of the Syrian Red Crescent, Omar Barakat, was killed along with eight of his staff.
More than ten drivers have been burned to death.
The video was recorded this evening by a member of the civil defense at the location of the attack.”