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This image provided by the Syrian anti-government group Aleppo 24 news, shows a vest of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent hanging on a damaged vehicle, in Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. A U.N. humanitarian aid convoy in Syria was hit by airstrikes Monday as the Syrian military declared that a U.S.-Russian brokered cease-fire had failed, and U.N. officials reported many dead and seriously wounded. (Aleppo 24 news via AP)

US officials have concluded that Russian warplanes hit an aid convoy in Syria


The U.S. has reached a preliminary conclusion that Russian warplanes bombed a Syrian Arab Red Crescent aid convoy and warehouse Monday night in a rural area of Aleppo, officials told CNN.

"All the evidence we have points to that conclusion," one of the officials told CNN.

The aid convoy was hit in the vicinity of Urum al-Kubra, which is west of Aleppo. The attack prompted the United Nations to cease its aid operations in Syria, according to CNN. 

US officials have concluded that Russian warplanes hit an aid convoy in Syria

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) released a statement saying that around 20 civilians were killed as they were unloading trucks carrying humanitarian aid. 

Much of the aid, which was on its way to eastern Aleppo where an estimated 250,000 civilians are lacking food, was also destroyed.

Omar Barakat, the director of the Red Crescent's Urum al-Kubra branch, was also killed in the attack. 

He was a committed and brave member of our family of staff and volunteers, working relentlessly to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people.
SARC President, Dr Abdulrahman Attar

"Failing to respect and protect humanitarian workers and structures might have serious repercussions on ongoing humanitarian operations in the country, hence depriving millions of people from aid essential to their survival," Peter Maurer, president of the ICRC, said in a statement.

During the past six years, 54 Syrian Arab Red Crescent staff and volunteers have lost their lives while working to provide aid. 

According to CNN, Russia has been helping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the fight against rebels.

Although Russia has said it is focused on attacking terror groups, ISIS's presence in the country has grown during the conflict.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told CNN Tuesday that video footage from drones of the strike show militants following the convoy. 

Photos courtesy of Aleppo 24 news via AP

"It is clearly seen in the video that a terrorist's pickup truck with a towed large-caliber mortar is moving along with the convoy," he told CNN. 

The U.S. military is also reviewing classified radar and surveillance from the attack. An official told CNN that based on that information, and reports on the ground, only Russian warplanes were in position to attack.

The United Nations said 18 of the convoy's trucks were hit in the attack. 

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