04/18/2017, 16.17

UN: convoy attack in Aleppo a crime. Toll rises to 126 victims

68 children are among the dead. At the moment there is no official confirmation of who is responsible for the massacre. Civilians targeted as they were fleeing the towns of Foah and Kefraya under government siege. The Western media alludes to involvement of Damascus. But all indications point to al Qaeda.

Aleppo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The weekend attack on a cargo convoy of Syrian refugees - including dozens of children - near Aleppo is a "war crime". This is what Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, emphasizes commenting on the attack in which at least 68 children have died in a total death toll of 126.

The blast hit the area Rashideen and a group of buses carrying evacuees fleeing two Syrian cities under government siege. " We add our voice to the condemnation of the attack …which likely amounts to a war crime. While at this stage unable to confirm how the attack was carried out or those responsible, footage seen by the UN Human Rights Office showed children gathering around a person giving out sweets just prior to the explosion"

On April 15 last a vehicle packed with explosives hit the convoy on the outskirts of the northern metropolis of the country, an economic and commercial capital of Syria returned time since last December under the full control of Damascus. According to reports from the London based NGO Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, close to the rebels and backed by the Saudis, the death toll is 109; dozens injured.

The blast destroyed the bus and burned the cars parked in the area, leaving behind the bodies of the dead.

In his Easter message, even Pope Francis condemned the attack, speaking of "a despicable attack on fleeing refugees which resulted in numerous deaths and injuries." "In particular, [God] support the efforts of those who work actively to bring relief and comfort to the civilian population in Syria, the victim of a war that continues to sow horror and death."

The convoy, without waiting to depart, was located in an area controlled by rebels on the outskirts of Aleppo. The explosion occurred while the refugees, a large majority of children, were gathering around a vehicle that had begun distributing food. The victims were fromFoah and Kefraya, cities under government siege and the subject of a recent agreement - brokered by Iran and Qatar - which guaranteed the green light for evacuations.

So far there were no official record claims for the attack. However, some experts believe it the work of al Qaeda, as no pro-government vehicle would have had access to the area controlled by the rebels. Hence the idea of ​​an attack - the details of which resemble past attacks by the same terror network founded by Osama bin Laden or the Ahrar Sham - is the work of militia groups, in all likelihood linked to al Qaeda, against government Refugees .

Experts also point out that the so-called front of the "rebels" is not united and interests diverge depending on the group and their supporters (Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United States). This is why the attack was the work of the front that wants to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

In contrast, Western newspapers speak of the "unknown matrix" of the attack, adding that it is not in  the rebels "interest" to hit refugees evacuated from their towns. The attack had raised concerns over the interruption of operations underway in the towns under siege. They were carried out on a regular basis throughout the day Sunday, April 16.

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