Verbal clashes between Russia and the U.S are nothing new – but rarely are these ‘spats’ played out on Twitter.
Yet on Wednesday, Russia’s MOD took to social media to make the claim that the U.S. had struck Aleppo in Syria, causing a Twitter slanging match to ensue.
U.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition spokesman Col. Steve Warren sparred with the Russian defense ministry after the agency claimed U.S. jets struck Aleppo on Wednesday, resulting in civilian casualties, Turkish news site Andalou Agency reported.
Scroll down for video
Russia’s MOD took to social media to make the claim that the U.S. had struck Aleppo in Syria, causing a Twitter slinging match to ensue
But a spokesman for the U.S -coalition denied Moscow’s claim and said that they had in fact bombed nearby Manjib. Pictured: Heavy smoke rises following an airstrike by the US-led coalition aircraft in Kobani, Syria
The row began when the defense ministry, in a series of tweets, criticized Warren’s comments about Russian airstrikes destroying two hospitals in Aleppo that deprived more than 50,000 people of medical services.
Aleppo has been a point of contention for both sides in the ongoing fighting in Syria after Russia said it targeted 1,900 terrorist facilities and that Aleppo was the prime focus, reported CNN.
The match began on Wednesday when the Russian MOD tweeted: “#SYRIA Yesterday, Pentagon official: allegedly Rus bombers attacked 2 hospitals in #ALEPPO;50,000 Syrians were deprived from med services,”
And added: “#SYRIA Col. Warren is to be disappointed—Rus aircraft didn’t work near #ALEPPO yesterday. Nearest target was more than 20 km far from city.”
Then: “Yesterday at 13:55 (MSK), 2 A-10 attack aircrafts of US AF entered Syrian airspace from Turkish territory made strikes on objects in city,” the ministry claimed.
But Colonel Steve Warren, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS in Syria, denied the claim that they were holding airstrikes in Aleppo, and tweeted: ‘@MOD_Russia’s tweets are wrong. Furthermore their bombing is reckless and indiscriminate and their efforts are strategically short-sighted.’
He added that that the hospital strikes that he mentioned the day before didn’t take place Wednesday and the U.S. hasn’t struck Aleppo in 2016.
Reuters reported that United States and its allies conducted 14 strikes against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria on Wednesday, the Combined Joint Task Force leading the operations said in a statement.
The statement said that one strike in Syria destroyed an IS structure near Manbij, which Colonel Steve Warren refered to in his next tweet: ‘@CJTFOIR hasn’t struck in #ALEPPO in 2016. Did strike in Manbij yesterday, 95 km away.’
Russia has come under international criticism since launching airstrikes in Syria at the end of September, after reports that Moscow is targeting Syrian opposition and civilians in an attempt to prop up President Bashar al-Assad.
The tense exchange between U.S and Russia played out on the very public Twittersphere. Five years of conflict have killed more than a quarter-million people, created Europe’s biggest refugee crisis since World War II
The slinging match also comes as Syria’s fragile peace deal lay in tatters on Thursday after President Bashar al-Assad vowed to retake the entire country despite attempts by world powers to broker a ceasefire.
In a rare interview published just hours after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced a planned truce, Assad said he would continue to fight ‘terrorism’ regardless.
He also warned it could take a ‘long time’ to defeat opposition groups, including Western-backed rebels, because so many countries were involved in the conflict.
Up to 50,000 people have fled Aleppo city and countryside since the Russian bombing has intensified
Aid: The nationwide ceasefire, which is expected to begin in a week’s time, will provide humanitarian relief to hundred of thousands of Syrians fleeing the fighting and who have been besieged
Assad said his regime’s eventual goal was to retake all of Syria, large swathes of which are under the control of rebel forces or ISIS.
His interview was published just hours after Mr Kerry announced a ‘pause’ in hostilities, due to begin in a week, after a crisis meeting in Munich.
But critics were quick to dismiss the agreement as ‘not worth the paper it’s printed on’, it was reported by the BBC.
Despite this blow, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced early Friday that major world powers have agreed to a “cessation of hostilities” and to the delivery of immediate aid in Syria.
Five years of conflict have killed more than a quarter-million people, created Europe’s biggest refugee crisis since World War II and allowed the Islamic State to carve out its own territory across parts of Syria and neighboring Iraq.