The rising tensions between Moscow and Washington turned into a war on social media Thursday.
U.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition spokesman Col. Steve Warren sparred with the Russian defense ministry on Twitter after the agency claimed U.S. jets struck Aleppo on Wednesday, resulting in civilian casualties.
The Twitter row began early in the day when the defense ministry, in a series of tweets, criticized Warren’s comments about Russian airstrikes destroying two hospitals in Aleppo that deprived more than 50,000 people of medical services.
“#SYRIA Yesterday, Pentagon official: allegedly Rus bombers attacked 2 hospitals in #ALEPPO;50,000 Syrians were deprived from med services,” read one from the ministry.
It added: “#SYRIA Col. Warren is to be disappointed—Rus aircraft didn't work near #ALEPPO yesterday. Nearest target was more than 20 km far from city.”
And, “Yesterday at 13:55 (MSK), 2 A-10 attack aircrafts of US AF entered Syrian airspace from Turkish territory made strikes on objects in city,” the ministry claimed.
Warren quickly took to the official account of Operation Inherent Resolve,@OIRspox, to deny the allegations, saying that the U.S. is not operating above Aleppo.
“.@MOD_Russia's tweets are wrong. Furthermore their bombing is reckless and indiscriminate and their efforts are strategically short-sighted,” he tweeted.
He also wrote that that the hospital strikes that he mentioned the day before didn’t take place Wednesday and the U.S. hasn’t struck Aleppo in 2016.
“Strikes in question didn’t happen yesterday. Regardless, only Rus/Syr operating over #ALEPPO” he tweeted. “@CJTFOIR hasn't struck in #ALEPPO in 2016. Did strike in Manbij yesterday, 95km away.”
Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis told Anadolu Agency that the Russian claims are blatantly “false.”
Mentioning one of the tweets by the ministry on Russian airstrikes in Aleppo, Warren said the tweet is Moscow’s “admission of strikes near Aleppo”.
Since launching airstrikes in Syria at the end of September, Russia has come under international criticism amid reports Moscow is targeting civilians and Syrian opposition in an effort to prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Russian airstrikes have forced more than half-a-million residents to flee their homes and into Turkey.