Russia denies involvement in deadly Syria school attack
Oct.28, Aleppo: Russia has denied carrying out air strikes on a school in Syria's rebel-held Idlib province that killed 36 people, including 22 children.
"The Russian Federation has nothing to do with this terrible tragedy, with this attack," foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday, adding Moscow demanded an immediate investigation.
Zakharova said claims that Russian and Syrian warplanes had conducted the deadly air strikes in Idlib on Wednesday were "a lie".
The raids hit a school and the surrounding area, killing 22 children and six teachers, the United Nations children's agency said.
The incident prompted outrage from UNICEF director Anthony Lake.
"This is a tragedy. It is an outrage and - if deliberate - it is a war crime," he said, adding the school complex had been hit repeatedly.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor group said "warplanes - either Russian or Syrian - carried out six strikes" in the village of Hass, including on a school complex.
The White House also said on Thursday that either the Syrian government or Russia was responsible for a deadly air strike in Syria that hit the school.
"We don't know yet that it was the Assad regime or the Russians that carried out the air strike, but we know it was one of the two," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.
"Even if it was the Assad regime that carried it out, the Assad regime is only in a position to carry out those kind of attacks because they are supported by the Russian government."
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Thursday for an immediate investigation of the attack.
Ban said in a statement that the attack, carried out against rebel-held territory, may amount to a war crime if found to be deliberate.
"If such horrific acts persist despite global outrage, it is largely because their authors, whether in corridors of power or in insurgent redoubts, do not fear justice. They must be proved wrong," he said.
The Oslo Times International News Network