Tuesday 24 April 2018

13 dead as Syrian hospital specialising in child medicine destroyed in air strikes

The air strikes hit a hospital in rebel-held Syria (AP)
The air strikes hit a hospital in rebel-held Syria (AP)

A Syrian hospital supported by the charity Doctors Without Borders and specialising in paediatrics has been destroyed in a series of air strikes which killed 13 people, including five children.

The group said two of four air strikes directly hit the hospital in Millis, in the rebel-held northern province of Idlib, and put it out of service.

Four staff members were killed and six were injured in the attack on Saturday, which destroyed the operating theatre, intensive care unit, paediatric department, ambulances and a generator.

The charity, known as MSF, said the hospital attack deprives 70,000 people in Millis and surrounding areas of essential medical care. The hospital, supported by MSF since 2014, used to receive 250 patients per day, many of them women and children

"The direct bombing of another hospital in Syria is an outrage," said Silvia Dallatomasina, medical manager of MSF operations in north-western Syria.

She called for an immediate end to attacks on hospitals, pointing out that four out of five UN Security Council members are participants in the war in Syria.

Hospitals, mostly in rebel-held areas, are regularly attacked. In July alone, the UN said it recorded 44 attacks on health facilities in Syria.

Syria's government and Russia, a major ally that has been carrying out air strikes in Syria since September, deny targeting health facilities.

In recent days, a number of attacks were reported on medical facilities amid increased violence, and ultimately increased pressure on the health facilities, in northern Syria.

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