[ Ed. note – As I reported in a post yesterday, Russia has accused the US of giving the coordinates of its Army field hospital to Syrian militants, who then used the information to shell the facility, killing two medics and seriously injuring another. Now Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a statement on the matter, noting that there has been virtual silence on the hospital attack from the so-called “international community.” ]
Commenting on the recent shelling of a Russian mobile hospital in Aleppo, Syria that killed two Russian medics, President Vladimir Putin said Moscow “will never accept” the absence of reaction from international organizations to the deaths.
“It is obvious to everybody that our medics came [to Syria] to resolve humanitarian issues only. They came there not to take part in the military action, but to help people, civilian population in particular,”Putin stressed.
Yet according to Russia’s president, Moscow “has seen no assessment of what happened from any international organization.”
[The US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has weighed in on the matter with the following report, perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of which is the enclosing of the word “tragedy” in quotation marks. ]
Russia Criticizes International Reaction to Aleppo Field Hospital Shelling
Russia is criticizing what it says has been the “more than modest” international reaction after two Russian Army medics were killed in what the Defense Ministry said was rebel shelling of a field hospital in the Syrian city of Aleppo.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov singled out the United States on December 6 for what he said was a muted reaction to the “tragedy” the previous day.
“We regret that the world community, including our partners in the United States, are reacting very modestly to the tragedy that unfolded with the attack on the field hospital,” Peskov told reporters.
The Russian Defense Ministry said two female army medics, Nadezhda Durachenko and Galina Mikhailova, were killed and a third medic, Vadim Arsentyev, was seriously wounded.
A ministry spokesman claimed on December 5 that it was a planned attack and suggested that the coordinates of the hospital were given to rebels by a foreign power.
U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said any accusation that United States could have done so would be “completely false,” adding: “We would never give coordinates to the Syrian opposition.”
State-funded Russian media outlet RT said that in response to a request for comment, the International Committee of the Red Cross said the incident indicated that “all sides to the conflict in Syria are failing in their duties to respect and protect health-care workers, patients, and hospitals, and to distinguish between them and military objectives.”
Russia’s Defense Ministry said that statement was “cynical” and showed the organization was “indifferent to the murder of Russian medics in Aleppo.”
Russia has backed the Syrian government throughout the more than five-year civil war and stepped up its support by launching a campaign of air strikes in September 2015.