An unnamed UN official based in southern Turkey has gone on the record today as accusing Russia of “deliberately” attacking aid supplies and food infrastructure in al-Qaeda-held parts of northern Syria, calling it “very specific targeting.”
The allegations of attacking grain silos and bakeries, along with strikes near border crossings, which aid groups say have made shipments from Turkey more difficult to provide, seem to largely mirror early US strikes in Syria, which similarly burned a number of grain silos, only in ISIS territory further to the east.
The Pentagon shrugged its own attacks off, saying they’d mistaken large grain silos for a “jihadist base,” but similar attacks occurred several times. The Russian strikes were initially reported in late November, but Russian officials have not gone on record on the matter.
Aid groups warn that the difficulty in getting goods into northern Syria risks a worsening humanitarian crisis in this area. A civil war and open sectarian bloodshed has already led to an exodus of civilians from the area, and those aid groups warn Turkey’s attempts, at the US behest, to limit border access to refugees is making matters even worse, giving the displaced nowhere to go.