Raids hit three hospitals in northern Syria: monitor


BEIRUT :  Three hospitals in rebel-held areas of northern Syria have been hit by air raids in the past 24 hours, leaving medical staff and patients wounded, a monitor said on Tuesday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it could not immediately determine whether the strikes in Aleppo province had been carried out by Russian or Syrian government aircraft.

One hospital in the village of Awijel in the west of the province was hit during the night.

Among the wounded were patients who had been moved there after a hospital in the nearby village of Kafr Naha was hit on Monday, the Britain-based monitoring group said.

A third hospital — in the town of Atareb — was hit five times in the early hours of Monday, the group added. The strikes destroyed operating rooms and the hospital pharmacy, damaged ambulances and wounded medical staff.

The hospitals in Atareb and Kafr Naha have both been hit by previous air strikes.

Human rights groups have accused the Syrian government and its ally Russia of deliberately targeting medical facilities in rebel-held areas, a claim both Damascusand Moscow deny.

In recent months, the government has been engaged in a major offensive aimed at recapturing rebel-held areas of Aleppo.

Some of the main hospitals in the city’s eastern sector have been destroyed by the accompanying air and artillery bombardment