Al-Qaeda-tied terrorists whom the United States has lobbied to keep off the United Nations terror list in the past have attacked a UN aid convoy near the Syrian capital, the Russian Defense Ministry says.
Reporting on Friday, Russia Today cited the Russian Ministry of Defense as saying that Jaysh al-Islam terrorists targeted the convoy in a shelling attack “in Eastern Harasta (in Damascus Province).”
The ministry said the attack “severely wounded” the driver of a rented vehicle while terrorists targeted Syrian government soldiers elsewhere in the country.
Damascus has pledged full cooperation with the UN and the Red Cross to have humanitarian aid delivered to all civilians “without any discrimination,” including those in hard-to-reach areas.
On Wednesday, dozens of trucks carrying humanitarian aid entered Zamalka and Arbin, two militant-held towns, located near Damascus.
The Syrian government has, however, voiced concern over militants withholding food from the citizens in need in the troubled areas. UN figures show that more than one million besieged Syrians are in need of help.
Jaysh al-Islam claims it is in the ranks of “the Syrian opposition” that the US calls “moderate” militants. By supporting the so-called moderate militants, Washington has been blocking Russia’s efforts to have the UN designate the group as terrorist.
Ahrar al-Sham militants (file photo by AFP)
The group has repeatedly violated a shaky ceasefire through staging chemical attacks against Kurdish fighters in Syria’s northern province of Aleppo.
The outfit, which enjoys Saudi, Qatari, and Turkish support, strongly sympathizes with al-Qaeda’s Syria branch al-Nusra Front and has posted execution videos online.
Al-Nusra and its fellow Takfiri terror group of Daesh currently form the most brutal outfits carrying out a campaign of terror in the Arab country.
Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin says Moscow’s push against the group at the world body is inspired by “the evidence that these organizations, fighting in Syria, are closely linked to” Daesh and al-Qaeda.
Washington has also blocked a Russian bid to put Ahrar al-Sham — a similar group of al-Qaeda sympathizers — on the UN terror list.
It was reported back in May that Labib al-Nahhas, who calls himself “a chief of foreign political relations at Ahrar al-Sham,” had been allowed to pay a visit to the US on a European passport.