Belgian Defense Minister Steven Vandeput has said that evidence provided by Russia showing that a Belgian F-16 aircraft attacked a village near Aleppo was fabricated, Novaya Gazeta reported.
According to a press release issued by the Belgian Ministry of Defense, the Defense Attaché of the Embassy of Belgium in Moscow was given a map with a flight trajectory of the F-16s, allegedly showing that Belgian F-16s were responsible for the air strike that caused a number of civilian casualties.
“From this map it is evident that the IFF (identification friend or foe) numbers attributed to the aircraft by the Russian Ministry of Defense do not belong to Belgian Air Force aircraft, and that the so-called evidence has thus been fabricated. In this, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation has itself demonstrated that the allegations towards Belgium are groundless,” the press release read.
“Vandeput, firmly stands by the statement issued jointly with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs yesterday, denying any Belgian involvement in the alleged airstrike, and expects a formal retraction of this groundless and unsubstantiated allegation,” the Belgian Ministry stressed.
Commenting on the attack on October 18th, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman General Igor Konashenkov said Vandeput “is deliberately deceiving people in Belgium and elsewhere in the world, or his subordinates and the Americans are lying to the leadership of Belgium.”
Konashenkov noted that the F-16s’ movements were tracked by Russian and Syrian radar.
“Russia has effective air defense measures capable of round-the-clock monitoring of the sky above almost all of Syria. In addition to ours, the airspace is also controlled by Syrian air defenses, which have been restored during the past year,” the Russian MoD Spokesman stated.