Russian airstrikes have allegedly obliterated three civilian hospitals in Syria and killed at least 20 people.
Activists are saying airstrikes hit two hospitals in Idlib province and one in Aleppo, Financial Times reports. The hospital in Aleppo was a children’s hospitals. Pregnant women and children were killed in the attacks.
The Syrian peace deal does not come into effect until Friday, but Russian activity suggests that the agreement is on incredibly fragile grounds, even though President Barack Obama has urged the Russians to back down. His requests have gone unheeded. Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev confirmed Russia will continue unabated in Aleppo province. Airstrikes in the Aleppo region are clearly supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces trying to push back rebel troops.
A total of 40,000 people no longer have access to medical services following the strikes.
“The civilians of northern Syria are between two kinds of hellfire — either they are trapped at the border if they try to flee, or they are targeted in their hospitals if they try to stay,” Mumtaz Haizeh, a doctor with Syrian Expatriates Medical Association, told Financial Times. “This is a catastrophe.”
Just as workers were digging through the rubble at one of the Doctors Without Borders hospitals , a second round of airstrikes pummeled the hospital.
Col. Steve Warren, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, tweeted out, “Terrible news of @MSF_Syria hospital destroyed near Idlib.”
The U.S., in contrast to Russia, only conducted airstrikes in Raqqa and Hasakah.
Although Doctors Without Borders declined to attribute the attack to any one particular party, the Department of State placed the blame on Assad and Russia.
“That the Assad regime and its supporters would continue these attacks, without cause and without sufficient regard for international obligations to safeguard innocent lives, flies in the face of the unanimous calls,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.
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