No Biggie: Russian Airstrikes Hit NINE Hospitals In Syria

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Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter
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Russian airstrikes hit nine hospitals in Syria this month, killing at least 12 and wounding dozens of others, according to a medical non-profit operating in the area.

Russian missiles struck a hospital in rebel-controlled Syria twice Tuesday in what the Syrian American Medical Society estimates is the ninth Russian strike on a hospital in recent weeks. Twelve were killed in the strike on the SAMS field hospital, including a hospital guard and a physiotherapist, and at least 28 civilians were injured, including a child less than five years old.

Russia began launching airstrikes in Syria in October to bolster President Bashar Assad’s regime. The strikes have primarily targeted rebel groups fighting Assad, including some CIA-backed forces, although the Kremlin claims Islamic State is a major focus.

SAMS operates dozens of medical facilities in rebel-controlled areas, and alleges Russian airstrikes have targeted a total of nine hospitals so far. Russian strikes on the only two hospitals in southern Aleppo over the weekend forced them to shut down and evacuate patients.

Staff on the ground are asking for an immediate supply of ambulances, tents, mattresses, blankets, food and baby milk in the wake of the attacks. SAMS reports thousands are left without medical care.

“When I am in the hospital, I feel like I am sitting on a bomb,” Dr. Tennari, the director of the hospital struck Tuesday, said in a SAMS report of the strike. “It is only a matter of time until it explodes.”

Tennari said that hospital has been struck 18 times since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, first by Assad’s forces and now by Russian forces. “The hardest part is knowing that these attacks will happen again,” Tennari added.

Russia’s Defense Ministry declined to comment on the allegations, reported The Wall Street Journal.

The Russian strikes add to a reported total of 313 airstrikes on medical facilities since the Syrian conflict began, all of which are indicated on a map published and updated by Physicians for Human Rights.

(Physicians for Human Rights/Screenshot)

The United States targeted a Doctors Without Borders hospital recently in a relatively high-profile airstrike that killed 10 and wounded dozens of others. President Barack Obama personally called the group’s leaders to apologize and authorized compensatory payments to be made to victim’s and their families. (RELATED: Doctors Without Borders Unimpressed By Obama’s Apology For Hospital Strike)

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