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Crisis in Syria

U.N. aid chief calls bombing of Syria aid convoy likely war crime

On Monday, At least 18 trucks delivering humanitarian aid to 78,000 Syrians in the rebel-held town Urm al-Kubra, outside Aleppo, were hit in an airstrike, "evidently" by Syrian government forces, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday night. Airstrikes also hit a warehouse run by the Syrian Red Crescent, and local activists say the aid group's leader, Omar Barakat was killed in the attack. U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien said he is "disgusted and horrified by the news" and that the itinerary of the convoy "had been provided to all parties to the conflict and the convoy was clearly marked as humanitarian." He demanded an independent investigation and said that if it was determined that the attack targeted humanitarian workers, that would be a war crime.

The convoy was one of two that entered Syria on Monday, a week into a truce brokered by Russia and the U.S.; Syria's military has said the truce is over, but the U.S. and Russia have not. "The important thing is the Russians need to control Assad, who evidently is indiscriminately bombing, including of humanitarian convoys," Kerry said in New York. The second convoy, to the town of Talbiseh in Homs province, arrived safely, the United Nations said.