US Blasts Russia for Calling Emergency UN Meeting Over Syria Bombing

U.S. ambassador had strong words for Russia at emergency UNSC meeting.

ByABC News
September 17, 2016, 9:40 PM

— -- U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power tonight blasted Russia for calling an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council in response to a U.S.-led coalition airstrike that mistakenly killed over 60 Syrian regime troops and wounded 100 more, according to numbers provided by the Russian Defense Ministry.

Speaking at the U.N headquarters in New York, Power said "even by Russia's standards, tonight's stunt, a stunt replete with moralism and grandstanding is uniquely cynical and hypocritical."

Earlier today the Russians had to call off U.S.-led airstrikes inside Syria that struck a convoy of Russian-backed Syrian troops. The U.S. Central Command later released a statement acknowledging the strikes, saying it had warned Russia in advance of the impending strikes in the area.

Also tonight a senior Obama administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the U.S. had expressed regret today to the Syrian regime.

"The United States has relayed our regret through the Russian Federation for the unintentional loss of life of Syrian forces fighting ISIL," this official said. "The U.S. will continue to pursue compliance with the Cessation of Hostilities as we continue military action against ISIL and Al Qaida."

Power derided Russia's decision to hold an emergency meeting following the strikes, saying essentially that Russia has turned a blind eye to the atrocities committed by the regime of Bashar al-Assad, including the bombing of his own people and his unwillingness to allow access to humanitarian aid.

"Imagine if we gathered every time they blocked vital aid from reaching children who are eating leaves... leaves... so they do not starve to death," Power said.

"And yet in the face of none of these atrocities has Russia expressed outrage nor has it demanded investigations nor has it ever called for a Saturday night emergency consultation in the Security Council or a Monday day or a Tuesday day or a Wednesday day, Thursday day, Friday day, Saturday, Sunday -- you name it," she said.

This very public feud between Russia and the United States comes as the two countries are forced to work together to maintain a very fragile, nationwide cease-fire in Syria that they helped put into effect on Monday.

Senior leaders from all members of the United Nations will be in New York this week for the United Nations General Assembly, and it is almost certain the Russians and the United States will meet again in the coming days.

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