The United Nations has suspended all aid convoys in Syria after its trucks were hit during a deadly air raid near Aleppo.
At least 18 of the 31-vehicles, which contained wheat, medicine, and winter clothes, were destroyed in Monday’s attack while en route to the town of Urem al-Kubra.
12 aid workers and drivers were reportedly killed.
The UN says the convoy had proper permits and was clearly marked. It has called for an investigation into the attack, with one official warning it could amount to a war crime if the strike was found to be deliberate.
Aid deliveries to besieged areas were a key part of a ceasefire deal brokered last week by the US and Russia, but only a few hours before the attack the Syrian military declared in a statement that the truce had come to an end.
Washington expressed outrage over the attack, while US Secretary of State John Kerry called on Russia to control Syria’s President Bashar al Assad.
“The important thing is the Russians need to control Assad, who evidently is indiscriminately bombing, including of humanitarian convoys. So let’s wait and see and collect the facts. We need to see where we are, and then we’ll make a judgment,’‘ Kerry said.
Russia’s Defence Ministry has denied the attack was carried out by either Syrian or Russian aircraft despite accusations to the contrary.
The US Secretary of State is set to meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in New York later to discuss the latest developments in Syria.