Moscow and Washington Are Tweet-Fighting Over Who Bombed Aleppo
U.S. and Russian officials sparred on Twitter Thursday over who had bombed Aleppo.
During the height of the Cold War, officials in Washington and Moscow had a hotline they could use to talk in case of emergency.
More than 50 years later, Russian and American officials are resorting to Twitter to communicate. And on Thursday, they got pretty sassy.
U.S. Col. Steve Warren, spokesman for Washington’s operations against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, sparred with the Russian Ministry of Defense’s official Twitter account after Moscow claimed U.S. planes struck Aleppo on Wednesday. Washington maintains they are not operating over Aleppo, a rebel-stronghold likely to soon be overrun by forces loyal to strongman Bashar al-Assad.
Here’s how it went down.
Early in the morning Washington, D.C. time, the Russian Ministry of Defense began tweeting that U.S. officials were blaming Russian jets for bombing two hospitals in Aleppo.
The Defense Ministry, @mod_russia, then said Warren would be disappointed to hear that those strikes could not have taken place because Russian planes were not close enough to Aleppo to be responsible for the attacks.
The Defense Ministry accused the U.S. of striking Aleppo instead.
Warren quickly took to the official @OIRspox account to deny the allegations.
According to him, the hospital strikes Washington was talking about didn’t take place on Wednesday.
And he said the U.S. hasn’t struck Aleppo in 2016, although they did carry out strikes elsewhere on Wednesday.
The Russian Ministry of Defense also used a tweet to brag that Moscow’s strikes were weakening “terrorists.”
Warren gave them a retweet on that one, but with some commentary. His biggest complaint? That Russia won’t identify said terrorists by name. Since launching airstrikes in Syria at the end of September, Russia has come under international scrutiny amid reports they are targeting American-backed Syrian opposition in an effort to bolster Assad. Washington, on the other hand, insists it is only striking the Islamic State.
Warren — who’s actually pretty good at Twitter — then offered a nice clickable graphic on where U.S. coalition airstrikes have taken place.
Oh, what a world we live in.
Photo Credit: GEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images