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Claim and counterclaim as US and Russia row over destroyed aid convoy

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By Christopher Cummins  with Agencies
Claim and counterclaim as US and Russia row over destroyed aid convoy

The short lived truce in Syria brokered by the US and Russia is in tatters after a UN aid convoy was destroyed.

US officials believe Russian planes dropped the bombs as food and medicine were being unloaded at a warehouse in a rebel held area to the west of Aleppo.

It is alleged that two Russian Sukhoi SU-24 warplanes were in the sky above the convoy at the time it was hit.

Twenty people lost their lives.

As part of the ceasefire Russia had taken responsibility for the regime’s compliance and if it transpires that Syrian aircraft carried out the raid the US would still hold Moscow responsible.

The Syrian military has said it is no longer bound to the truce.

The White House National Security adviser Ben Rhodes said: “We need to continue to determine whether or not the cessation of hostilities can continue. The preference is to see if it can, given that it offers right now the best opportunity to provide for an opening to reduce the violence and address humanitarian concerns. That doesn’t mean we’re not significantly concerned by the complete failure to demonstrate good faith in the Russian side.”

Moscow has reacted with “resentment and indignation” and countered accusations by releasing video which purports to show the convoy being accompanied by an opposition pickup truck armed with a heavy mortar.

In a seperate statement Russia said the 18 truck aid mission had caught fire.

The UN has suspended aid operations to Syria.

In his farewell address to the UN general assembly Secretary General Ban-Ki-moon described the carnage as “sickening, savage and apparently deliberate attack.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrova and US Secretary of State John Kerry met on Tuesday and both insisted the cease fire was not dead and the pair would meet again on Friday.