Air Strikes Near Aleppo Hospital Killed 15


Aleppo: At least 15 people have been killed and many others injured in air strikes on rebel-held areas of the Syrian city of Aleppo, Syrian activists report. One of the strikes hit near a makeshift hospital in the Shaar neighborhood.

Amateur video footage showed wounded people being loaded onto an ambulance as fires and thick black smoke billow from nearby buildings. A body covered in thick grey dust is shown lying face down among the rubble.a

The Independent Doctors Association, which describes itself as a cross-border Syrian humanitarian organisation, said on Twitter an air strike had hit a children’s hospital it runs, destroying one floor.

The Britain-based Syrian observatory for Human Rights said at least 10 people were killed, including children, in the strike on the Bayan Hospital.

The White Helmets, who volunteer as search and rescue workers for Syria Civil Defence, said at least 15 civilians were killed by two suspected barrel bombs in the Shaar area.

The Local Coordination Committees, which also closely follows the conflict in Syria, also reported the air strikes, saying they resulted in multiple casualties. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the strike.

The last 48 hours have seen an increase in violence in Aleppo, with government forces pounding rebel-held areas in the east of the city with air strikes, while the rebels have been shelling the western, government-held areas.

Hospitals and medical facilities have been regularly targeted in the Syrian civil war, which has raged since 2011. Since the start of the conflict, nearly 740 doctors and staff have been killed in more than 360 attacks on hospitals in Syria, according to Physicians for Human Rights.

In April, dozens of people were killed when the al-Quds hospital in Aleppo was bombed in an air strike widely believed to have been carried out by the Syrian government.

Médecins Sans Frontières says at least 100 staff members, patients and caretakers were killed, and at least 130 were injured, in aerial bombing and shelling attacks on more than 80 MSF-supported and run health structures in 2015 and early 2016.

Aleppo, once the thriving commercial centre of Syria, has become the location of a vicious war of attrition after it was divided between government and rebel-controlled districts since the summer of 2012.