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UN to Follow Up on Member State Data on Hospital Bombings in Syria's Idlib - Spokesman

© AP PhotoIn this Sept. 19, 2013, file photo, smoke rises after a TNT bomb was thrown from a helicopter (archive)
In this Sept. 19, 2013, file photo, smoke rises after a TNT bomb was thrown from a helicopter (archive) - Sputnik International
UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - The United Nations will evaluate relevant information provided by its member states including Russia that could be used in the investigation led by the special board of inquiry into alleged aerial bombings of hospitals in Syria’s Idlib, UN spokesperson Farhan Haq said in a press briefing on Friday.

On 3 September, Russia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said that his country stands ready to submit for consideration evidence into airstrikes on civilian facilities that would debunk many claims of Moscow's responsibility in the attacks in the province of Idlib.

"Of course, we will follow up on any such offers and will appreciate any offers by member states to provide relevant information", Haq said, responding to whether the United Nations had received any data from Russia.

On Thursday, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock at a Security Council meeting on the situation in Syria also reminded that all relevant parties are requested to provide their support to the board to conduct the investigation.

When asked to confirm whether the team of experts, which commenced its work on September 30, had already visited seven humanitarian sites allegedly targeted by airstrikes in Syria's northwest, the UN spokesman declined to elaborate on the issue.

"I can't provide any details on the work of the board as it continues about its work", Haq said. "Once it's completed, we will try to share some information about the work that they have done".

Earlier, the New York Times claimed that back in May, the Russian Air Forces ''had repeatedly destroyed hospitals in Syria'' in order to ''eliminate the last pockets of resistance to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad." It turned out later that one of the hospitals mentioned in the NYT post was, in fact, a terrorist bunker, which was confirmed by the Russian Ministry of Defence and seen by at least 80 journalists.

On 1 August, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the internal Headquarters Board of Inquiry would investigate a series of incidents in which UN-supported facilities in a dozen locations in northwest Syria have been destroyed or damaged in airstrikes since late April. The probe was launched after two-thirds of the UN Security Council expressed concern over the lack of inquiry.


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