Russia foreign ministry claim Syria school strike photos 'fake'

Russia foreign ministry claim Syria school strike photos 'fake'
2 min read
29 October, 2016
Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova says expert analysis of photographs from the Syrian village of Hass show that there was "no strike on the school and there were no victims either".
Airstrikes on a school in Syria's rebel-held Idlib province killed 22 children [AFP]
A Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman on Friday said an expert examination of pictures showing a strike on a Syrian school that UNICEF said killed 22 children, had shown they were fake.

"Today after expert analysis of photographs from the Syrian village of Hass, it turned out that there was no strike on the school and there were no victims either," Maria Zakharova wrote on Facebook.

"The photographs are computer graphics," she said, without giving any details.

Airstrikes on a school in Hass village in Syria's rebel-held Idlib province killed 22 children and six teachers, the UN children's agency UNICEF said on Wednesday.

Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Thursday that photographs taken by a Russian drone showed that the roof of the school reportedly hit in the strikes showed no damage and that there were no craters attributable to bombs in the area.

And he said that "not one Russian warplane entered that area" on that day. 

"This is an absolute fact."

Zakharova had on Thursday initially described the attack as a "terrible tragedy," while insisting that reports of Russian involvement were untrue after the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strikes were carried out by "warplanes - either Russian or Syrian". 

Syrian government forces and their Russian allies have been accused by Western powers and rights groups of carrying out indiscriminate attacks on civilian infrastructure.

Earlier this week, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien urged the UN Security Council to take action to end the bloodshed in war-torn Syria.

O'Brien called on the 15-member body to uphold international peace and security and "do the right thing to stop the draining of the blood of Syrians."

Last week, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution calling for an investigation into the violence in the Aleppo, which the council said has been turned into a "slaughter house".

O'Brian urged the Security Council to put an end to the violence, adding: "It is within your power to do it. If you don’t take action, there will be no Syrian peoples or Syria to save – that will be this Council's legacy, our generation's shame."

"It is in your hands today to take the right path, and avert this looming irreversible tragedy of our time."

Agencies contributed to this report.