Belgium summons Russian envoy over Aleppo air raid claim: Ministry

BRUSSELS (AFP) - Belgium's foreign ministry summoned the Russian ambassador on Wednesday (Oct 19) after Moscow claimed Belgian jets from the US-led coalition killed six civilians in airstrikes near Syria's Aleppo, a spokesman said.

"We are making contact with the Russian ambassador with the aim of summoning him today. We will see if his agenda allows it," Belgian foreign ministry spokesman Didier Vanderhasselt told AFP.

"We are also making contact at the level of the ministry of defence to pass on the message that Belgium has no responsibility for these air strikes. That is also the message for the ambassador," the spokesman added.

"We are also unhappy that this information was not verified before being made public."

Russia's defence ministry said two Belgium's F-16s from the coalition fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants in Syria had been identified in the region where the deadly air strike took place early on Tuesday.

"Six people were killed and four people injured to various degrees as a result of bombing that destroyed two homes" in the village of Hassajik in the Aleppo region, the Russian ministry said in a statement.

Belgian defence ministry spokeswoman Laurence Mortier earlier denied the country's air force was active in the area at the time.

Moscow had announced on Tuesday that the Russian and Syrian air forces had stopped bombing Aleppo to pave the way for an eight-hour truce on Thursday.