The Russian defense ministry said Thursday that U.S. aircraft carried out a bombing in the Syrian city of Aleppo Wednesday and not Russian planes as Washington declared earlier, Russia Today reported. On Wednesday, the Pentagon reportedly accused Russia of attacking two hospitals in Aleppo via airstrikes, which the U.S. defense ministry said left over 50,000 people without any access to assistance.
Russia denied the accusations saying none of its warplanes were present in the area at the time of the alleged attacks. Russian defense ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov reportedly said that the nearest target aimed by Russia on Wednesday was about 12 miles from Aleppo, Syria's largest city. He added that the airplanes from the U.S.-led coalition — “both aircrafts and UAVs” — were active over the city at the time.
“Yesterday, at 13:55 Moscow time (5:55 a.m. EST), two American A-10 assault aircraft entered Syrian airspace from Turkey, flew right to the city of Aleppo and bombed targets there,” Konashenkov said, according to Russia Today.
“I’m going to be honest with you: we did not have enough time to clarify what exactly those nine objects bombed out by U.S. planes in Aleppo yesterday were. ... We will look more carefully,” Konashenkov added.
Konashenkov also picked on the statements by Steve Warren, a spokesman for the U.S. defense ministry, and criticized the official for not mentioning about the hospital’s coordinates, the time of the attack and the source of his information.
“Over the past week, February 4-11, the planes of Russia's aviation group in Syria made 510 sorties during which 1,888 facilities of terrorists were destroyed in the provinces of Aleppo, Latakia, Hama, Deir ez-Zor, Daraa, Homs, Al-Hasakah and Raqqah,” Konashenkov said, giving details about Russia's operations in Syria, according to Russia Today.
On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that Russia’s offensive in Aleppo and other regions made it difficult to decide on a ceasefire in Syria, which is going to be the main topic of concern during a meeting of 17-nation International Syria Support Group in Germany Thursday.
"We are all very, very aware of how critical this moment is, and Russia needs to contribute in significant ways to sustaining the ability of the opposition and others to come to the table and create an atmosphere within which you can actually have a negotiation,” Kerry said, according to CNN.