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Russian President Vladimir Putin: “We know who hit aid convoy in Aleppo, so do the Americans”

(RT) ~ The attack on a UN humanitarian aid convoy near the Syrian city of Aleppo last month, which Washington has blamed on Russia, was actually carried out by one of the terrorist groups present in the area, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.

“It was one of the terrorist groups. And we know that, say, the Americans know it too, but prefer to take a different position, to falsely accuse Russia. This is not helping,” Putin said at an economic forum in Moscow.

The aid convoy was attacked on the night of September 20. The International Committee of the Red Cross reported 20 civilians killed and 18 vehicles destroyed.

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The Pentagon alleged that the convoy was destroyed from the air and that Russian warplanes were present in the area, concluding that it was a Russian strike that was responsible.

Russia denied the accusation and said a U.S. drone was monitoring the convoy, so Washington should know the truth about the attack.

Putin also commented on the disagreement at the UN Security Council that eventually led to the cancellation of his visit to France. Paris indicated that it wouldn’t be comfortable hosting the Russian leader after Moscow blocked a resolution it had submitted.

“It’s not our partners who should take offense over us vetoing the French resolution. I’d say we are the offended party here,” Putin said.

He said French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault had raised the idea of the resolution when he visited Moscow last week. Ayrault was told the draft pinned too much blame for the Aleppo violence on the Syrian government, but that if France made some amendments, the document could still pass.

However, as Ayrault visited Washington on the eve of the UNSC meeting, no changes were made to the draft and France also “accused Russia of all the deadly sins,” Putin said.

“Knowing our position, and not discussing it with us, they didn’t chuck in the resolution so it would pass, but [did it] to get the veto. What for? To exacerbate the situation and to whip up anti-Russian hysteria in media under their control, and to deceive their own citizens,” he added.

The situation in Syria will be discussed on Saturday in Lausanne, Switzerland, where top diplomats from the US, Russia, Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are to gather for a meeting.


US, Allies Primarily Responsible for Situation in Syria, Region

Russian President Vladimir Putin has given an interview to French TV-channel TF1. During that interview, President Putin talked about such issues as the situation in Syria, canceling his visit to Paris, and other topics.

MOSCOW, October 12 (Sputnik) ~ The United States and its allies are overall primarily responsible for the situation in Syria, while accusations with respect to Russia are “political rhetoric,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

“I would say that this is political rhetoric which has no common sense and is not taking the real situation into account,” Putin said, speaking of the west accusing Russia of bombing Aleppo.

“I am deeply convinced that the responsibility for the situation in the region as a whole and Syria in particular lies on our Western partners, primarily of course the United States and its allies”, Putin told the TF1 television channel.

When talking about the attack on the aid convoy in Aleppo, President Putin said that Russia was ready to ensure the security of a humanitarian convoy heading to Aleppo via Castello Road jointly with US servicemen, but Washington refused.

“We got an offer that our armed forces, the servicemen of the Russian army, stand on this road and ensure security… I said no, we shall do it, but only with the US side, offer it to them. They refused straight away, they do not want to stand [there], they do not want to pull back military units of these opposition terrorist groups”, Putin told the TF1 television channel.

On Refugee Crisis Accusations that Russia is responsible for the mass outflow of people from Syria because of its military operation there are completely groundless, as this process commenced long before Russia became active in the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

On Sunday, U.S. Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton claimed that many people had to leave Syria because of alleged Russian aggression.

“Any accusations that Russia is allegedly to blame in the refugee issue are completely groundless,” Putin told the TF1 television channel.

According to the president, the issue emerged long before Russia’s presence in Syria.

“The massive outflow of people from this huge territory in the Middle East, even in Africa, in Afghanistan, it began long before our active actions in Syria”, Putin said.

Speaking of the humanitarian situation in Syria’s Aleppo, the Russian president stressed that militants could not be allowed to use people as a human shield.

“We cannot allow them to blackmail the whole world when they are taking hostages, killing, beheading. If you want to finish the job of fighting terrorism, then they should be fought”, Putin said.

RT News
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