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Belgium Summons Russian Envoy Over Syria Air-Strike Claim


Moscow says it spotted two Belgian F-16 fighter jets over the area at the time of the strike. (file photo)

Belgium's Foreign Ministry says it has summoned the Russian ambassador to Brussels after Moscow claimed Belgian jets killed civilians in an air strike in Syria.

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders reiterated on October 19 that his country had no responsibility for the strike.

Earlier, Russia's Defense Ministry said an October 18 strike on the village of Hassajek in Aleppo Province killed six civilians and wounded four other people.

It also said two Belgian F-16 fighter jets from the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State militants were identified over the area at the time of the strike.

Belgium was "unhappy that this information was not verified before being made public," Reynders said.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Moscow was waiting for an international condemnation of the strike.

Moscow announced on October 18 that the Russian and Syrian air forces had stopped bombing the besieged city of Aleppo to pave the way for an eight-hour truce on October 20.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, TASS, and Interfax