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Syria: Russian warplanes hit two hospitals, killing 14

16th Feb 2016
Syria: Russian warplanes hit two hospitals, killing 14

By Mohamed Misto


IDLIB, (AA): At least 14 people were killed on Monday when Russian warplanes struck two hospitals in Syria’s northwestern city of Idlib, according to a local source.

One of the airstrikes, which struck a hospital funded by Geneva-based medical charity Doctors without Borders (MSF), killed 11 people and injured 25, a local civil defense source told Anadolu Agency.

According to the same source, the four-story hospital was completely destroyed by the airstrike.

MSF, for its part, decried the attack.

“We condemn this attack which appears to have been deliberately conducted against a health facility,” MSF head of mission in Syria Massimiliano Rebaudengo said in a Monday statement.

“The destruction of this hospital deprived the 40,000 people living in this open conflict area of access to care,” he added.

According to MSF, the hospital was hit four times in two series of attacks, each conducted within minutes of each other.

MSF officials say at least eight staff members remain missing since the attack on the 30-bed hospital, which had contained two operating rooms, an outpatient clinic and an emergency room.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that the attack against the MSF hospital in Idlib was unacceptable.

Speaking in a press conference after the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting on Monday, Mogherini said: “Protecting civilians – especially health facilities – and humanitarian aid and the NGOs’ activities should be ensured. In this context, the attack against the MSF hospital is unacceptable. We will maintain pressure on all parties to make them respect basic human rights and focus on the protection of civilians.”
Amnesty international also issued a statement Monday calling for Russia and Syria to stop “deliberate attacks on hospitals”.

“Russian and Syrian forces know full well that deliberate attacks on medical facilities are war crimes. All parties to the conflict must cease such horrific attacks, stop destroying medical facilities and allow medical workers to carry out their life-saving work without fear of being killed or injured in the line of duty,” said Said Boumedouha deputy Middle East and North Africa Programme director at Amnesty International.

Amnesty cites a report by NGO Physicians for Human Rights, which has, before the latest assaults on Monday, recorded 336 attacks on medical facilities and 697 personnel killed since the conflict started in 2011. Of the 697, 657 have been killed by Syrian forces, according to Physicians for Human Rights.
According to the local civil defense source, Russian warplanes also struck a second hospital in Idlib on Monday, killing three people and injuring 10.

Rescue workers, the same source said, were still searching for survivors under the rubble of destroyed buildings.

Earlier Monday, Russian warplanes also struck a children’s hospital in the opposition-held city of Azaz in Syria’s northwestern Aleppo province near the Turkish border.

Additional reporting from Geneva by Fatih Erel and Busra Akin Dincer from London

Author Ekip,Can Erözden,Fatih Erel,Büşra Akın Dinçer


[Photo: Rescue workers and civilians inspect the debris of a collapsed hospital, belongs to humanitarian aid organization “Doctors Without Borders” to save victims after Russian forces’ air-strike over residential areas in Maarat al-Numan District of Idlib, Syria on February 15, 2016. Casualties reported.

Photographer: Muhammed Karkas/AA]



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