A day after an airstrike slammed into aid trucks meant to disburse vital supplies in Syria, the United Nations announced on Tuesday it would be suspending further aid convoys to the country. This attack comes a week after the U.S. and Russia brokered a Syrian ceasefire. The ceasefire was originally built for the U.S., Russia, and their prospective allies to tackle the threat of ISIS and Nusra militants in the region.
The United Nations reported the aid trucks were carrying supplies for approximately 78,000 people in the area, which included wheat flour, medicine, and winter clothing. The New York Times stated the airstrikes destroyed 18 of the 31 trucks, and the Red Cross is reporting 20 people were killed in the process. Russian Defense Ministry Spokesmen Igor Konashenkov said the situation is currently under investigation, and neither Russia nor Syria are responsible for the airstrike:
“The air forces of Russia and Syria did not conduct any strikes against the UN aid convoy in the southwestern outskirts of Aleppo. [The Russian Military] carefully studied the video recordings of the so-called activists from the scene and found no signs that any munitions hit the convoy. Everything shown on the video is the direct consequence of the cargo catching fire, and this began in a strange way simultaneously with militants carrying out a massive offensive in Aleppo.”
There has been no timetable for when the aid program will be restarted, but Peter Maurer, International Committee of the Red Cross president, said the constant attacks on aid trucks could have “serious repercussions” for humanitarian work done in the country.