Syria school strike photos ‘fake’, says Russia Foreign Ministry

'not one Russian warplane entered that area' on that day, says spokesperson

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A Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman on Friday said an expert examination of pictures showing a strike on a Syrian school that UNICEF said killed 22 children, had shown they were fake.

“Today after expert analysis of photographs from the Syrian village of Hass, it turned out that there was no strike on the school and there were no victims either,” Maria Zakharova wrote on Facebook.

“The photographs are computer graphics,” she said, without giving any details.

Air strikes on a school in Hass village in Syria's rebel-held Idlib province killed 22 children and six teachers, the UN children’s agency UNICEF said on Wednesday.

Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Thursday that photographs taken by a Russian drone showed that the roof of the school reportedly hit in the strikes showed no damage and that there were no craters attributable to bombs in the area.

And he said that “not one Russian warplane entered that area” on that day.

“This is an absolute fact.”

Zakharova had on Thursday initially described the attack as a “terrible tragedy,” while insisting that reports of Russian involvement were untrue after the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strikes were carried out by “warplanes -- either Russian or Syrian”.

Syrian government forces and their Russian allies have been accused by Western powers and rights groups of carrying out indiscriminate attacks on civilian infrastructure.

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