Wednesday, November 16, 2016

John Kirby, US State Dept. Spokesperson, I know the Russians bombed FIVE Hospitals. Just can't tell you WHICH Hospitals, or in what Cities these hospitals are.

Video of 11-16-16  Press Briefing is here:

John Kirby

Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC

November 16, 2016

ANOTHER instance of accusations that Russia bombed not two hospitals, but this time five. Sorry, can't say where the hospitals are, even in what city, but "trust us"WE KNOW."   How??  Because "reliable sources tell us.

Watch, listen, and decide for yourself. I have put time markers on the relevant sections.

2:07 p.m. EST
MR KIRBY: Afternoon.
QUESTION: Can we go to Syria?    [ 17:53 ]
[ 17:56 ]QUESTION: Okay. First of all, can you clarify what is going on in terms of where the Russians are bombing? I mean, some say in Aleppo, but there is no evidence that there is any bombardment of eastern Aleppo by the Russians. There is bombardments of Idlib and Homs and so on, and the countryside of Homs. So first of all, if you have information on where they are bombing and what is going on there.
[18:18] MR KIRBY: Well, I don’t have – as you know, Said, I don’t have specific tactical information about Russian military operations in terms of grid points and locations on a map. We – I would say, though, that we have seen additional airstrikes now in Syria by Russia and by the regime, to include what has been reported to be – and we have no reason to doubt this because of the sourcing that we’re getting – that five hospitals and at least one mobile clinic in Syria were struck by --
[ 18:13] QUESTION: Can say which city the hospitals were in?
MR KIRBY: What’s that?
[ 19:14 ] QUESTION: Which city were the hospitals in?
MR KIRBY: I don’t have the exact location. But – so five hospitals and one mobile clinic. And by all counts, it looks like they were deliberately targeted, all in the span of just the last day or so. It’s also worth noting that despite Russian claims that it halted airstrikes in the past month or so --
[ 19:40 ]QUESTION: Twenty-eight days.
MR KIRBY: -- yeah – they’ve allowed no food or humanitarian assistance into east Aleppo. And the regime and Russia have now let Aleppo’s residents starve, all while seeking praise from the international community for halting indiscriminate strikes for three weeks. Again, five hospitals and at least one – maybe more – mobile clinic. That doesn’t sound to me like a halt in indiscriminate attacks.
QUESTION: Can you give us a specific --  {  where is this said?  By whom? ]
[ 20:12 ] QUESTION: Now the Russians are – excuse me, just let me --
[20:16 ] QUESTION: -- follow up with a couple of things. The Russian defense ministry claims that it is actually the rebels who are – or the terror groups who are holding back the aid, they are disallowing the public from reaching that humanitarian aid. And in fact, they’re saying that there was some sort of demonstration by the public and that was crushed brutally by the different militant groups and so on. And so I want – how do you sort out after all this kind of conflicting information and so on – how do you get your information on this case?
[20:51 ] MR KIRBY: No, look, it’s a very fluid situation and our knowledge is imperfect. That’s why we say I have seen – we’ve seen reports of these things. And I don’t have specifics for you. I don’t have specific locations --
QUESTION: But don’t you think it’s --
[21:09 ] MR KIRBY: Hang on a second, I’m answering Said.
QUESTION: Don’t you think it is important --
MR KIRBY: We don’t have that. I’m saying we’ve seen these reports.
[ 21:16 ] MR KIRBY: And they fly in the face of everything Russia says it’s doing in Syria, and specifically in Aleppo. So I don’t have – I don’t have (inaudible) on this and it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to get into that anyway.
QUESTION: But don’t you think it is important --
QUESTION: So you would refute --
MR KIRBY: But, but --
[ 21:36] QUESTION: -- the claim by the Russians that they have stopped or they had a moratorium on striking Aleppo, eastern Aleppo, for the past 28 days? In fact, all the while were – the militant groups were striking western Aleppo.
[21:49] MR KIRBY: So we’ve seen – well, you’ve also seen reports that – about opposition groups that were limiting or trying to be an obstacle to humanitarian aid and assistance. And we’ve made it clear to the opposition groups that we communicate with and certainly to nations who have influence over other opposition groups that these reports are troubling and concerning and obviously to the degree they’re true, that that obstruction should not occur. That said, it’s without question that it is the regime and its Russian backers that have had the – by far, the most responsibility for stopping the violence, for stopping the strikes, and for allowing the aid to get in, which they haven’t done. I mean, I don’t know how many times now I’ve been to this podium talking about the fact that no humanitarian aid is getting into Aleppo and that hasn’t changed.
QUESTION: Don’t you think it is --
MR KIRBY: It hasn’t changed one bit.
[23:01] QUESTION [Gayane Chichakyan] : Sorry, don’t you think it is important to give a specific list of hospitals that you’re accusing Russia of hitting? Those are grave accusations.
[23:08}MR KIRBY: I’m not making those accusations. I’m telling you we’ve seen reports from credible aid organizations that five hospitals and a clinic --
QUESTION: Which hospital --
MR KIRBY: At least one clinic --
[23:15] QUESTION [GC] : In what cities at least?
[23:18} MR KIRBY: You can go look at the information that many of the Syrian relief agencies are putting out there publicly. We’re getting our information from them too. These reports --
QUESTION: But you are citing those reports without giving any specifics.
MR KIRBY: Because we believe these agencies are credible and because we have other sources of information that back up what we’re seeing from some of these reports. And you know what? Why don’t ask --
QUESTION: If you – exactly.
MR KIRBY: Here’s a good question.
QUESTION: That’s what I --
MR KIRBY: Why don’t you ask your defense ministry --
QUESTION: That’s what I was --
MR KIRBY: -- what they’re doing and see if you can get --
QUESTION: If you give a specific list --
MR KIRBY: No, no, no, no, no, no, no.
QUESTION: If you give a specific list of hospitals --
MR KIRBY: No, no, no.
QUESTION: My colleagues who are listening --
MR KIRBY: I’m supposed to --
QUESTION: -- hopefully would be able to go and ask Russian officials about a specific list of hospitals that you’re accusing Russia of --
MR KIRBY: You work for Russia Today, right? Isn’t that your agency?
QUESTION: That is correct. Yes.
MR KIRBY: And so why shouldn’t you ask your government the same kinds of questions that you’re standing here asking me?
QUESTION: When you level --
MR KIRBY: Ask them about their military activities. Get them to tell you what they’re – or to deny what they’re doing.
QUESTION: When I ask for specifics, it seems your response is why are you here? Well, you are leveling that accusation.
MR KIRBY: No, ma’am.
QUESTION: And if you give specifics --
MR KIRBY: No, ma’am.
QUESTION: -- my colleagues would be able to ask --
MR KIRBY: No, ma’am.
QUESTION: -- Russian officials.
MR KIRBY: Once again, you’re just wrong. I’m not leveling those accusations. Relief agencies that we find credible are leveling those accusations.
QUESTION: But you repeat them.
MR KIRBY: So why don’t you question them about their information and where they’re getting it? And why don’t you question your own defense ministry?
QUESTION: Which organizations then? Which ones? Where should I look?
MR KIRBY: We’ll get you – we will get you a list of them after the briefing. I don’t have it right here in front of me, but I’m happy to provide to you some of the relief agencies that are telling us what they’re seeing on the ground.
QUESTION: And specifically on blocking aid within the 28 days that Russia and Syria had stopped the airstrikes in eastern Aleppo, and I understand they resumed by the – they were resumed by the Syrian military yesterday. Do you – can you give any specific information on when Russia or the Syrian Government blocked the UN from delivering aid? Just any specific information.
MR KIRBY: There hasn’t been any aid delivered in the last month.
QUESTION: And you believe it was blocked exclusively by Russia and the Syrian Government.
MR KIRBY: There’s no question in our mind that the obstruction is coming from the regime and from Russia. No question at all.
QUESTION: I just have --
QUESTION: John, can I just --
QUESTION: Yeah. Well --
QUESTION: Let me – hold on, just let me say: Please be careful about saying “your defense minister” and things like that. I mean, she’s a journalist just like the rest of are, so it’s – she’s asking pointed questions, but they’re not --
MR KIRBY: From a state-owned – from a state-owned --
QUESTION: But they’re not --
MR KIRBY: From a state-owned outlet, Matt.
QUESTION: But they’re not --
MR KIRBY: From a state-owned outlet that’s not independent.
QUESTION: The questions that she’s asking are not out of line.
QUESTION: The outlet is (inaudible) --
MR KIRBY: I didn’t say the questions were out of line.
QUESTION: Okay. I mean --
MR KIRBY: I didn’t say the questions were out of line.
QUESTION: All right. Okay.
MR KIRBY: Okay? But I’m not --
QUESTION: But I mean – oh no, I understand. But asking --
MR KIRBY: I’m sorry, but I’m not going to put Russia Today on the same level with the rest of you who are representing independent media outlets.
QUESTION: Do you have an issue with my question?
QUESTION: Well, hold on, but just --
QUESTION: (Off-mike.)
QUESTION: Look, there – well, we’ll talk about – we can talk about this later offline --
QUESTION: Maybe I could ask my Iraq question.
QUESTION: -- but just – the question is not an inappropriate question to ask.
MR KIRBY: Didn’t say that it was.
QUESTION: All right.
MR KIRBY: But I also think it should be asked of their own defense ministry --
MR KIRBY: -- which they don’t do, which Russia Today doesn’t do.
Said, did you have one?

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