Russia’s defence ministry has released drone footage that it says shows a pickup truck carrying militants and hauling a heavy mortar driving alongside the UN aid convoy before it was destroyed on Monday.
The ministry’s spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the convoy with humanitarian aid heading to the embattled city of Aleppo could be seen being accompanied by a militant pickup truck.
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Russia and Syria have denied hitting the UN convoy, which was attacked as it delivered food aid to Aleppo on Monday night
“Analysis of the yesterday’s drone footage monitoring the movement of the aid convoy through the militant held areas helped to reveal new details,” Konashenkov said. He added that the drone footage points at insurgents seeking cover behind the trucks.
“The video clearly shows how the terrorists are relocating a pickup truck with a large-caliber mortar.”
The footage shows the pickup in question riding alongside a line of aid trucks, and stopping right next to one of them, so it can be seen from one side only.
On Monday a humanitarian convoy consisting of 31 trucks was attacked while heading to Aleppo. According to the Red Cross, 20 civilians and one aid worker died as a result. Initial reports by the organization claimed the convoy had been targeted by an airstrike.
Russia denied the allegations, citing the destruction levels of the affected vehicles.
“There are no craters, while the vehicles have their chassis intact and they have not been severely damaged, which would have been the case from an airstrike,” Konashenkov said.
On Tuesday, the UN also retreated from its claims that the convoy was hit by military planes.
“We are not in a position to determine whether these were in fact airstrikes. We are in a position to say that the convoy was attacked,” UN humanitarian spokesman Jens Laerke said.