Damascus: At least 14 doctors and 3 patients were killed after a direct airstrike destroyed a hospital specializing in pediatrics in Syria, the medical charity supporting the facility said Thursday. Al-Quds hospital situated in syiran city of Alleppo, a rebel held area has been completely destroyed in the attack. Al-Qud hospital is supported by a charity group called ‘Doctors Without Borders’ (Medecins sans Frontieres -MSF). MSF sources blamed the Syrian government or Russian war planes for the attack, but there was no official comment. However a Syrian military source told that government warplanes had not been used in areas where airstrikes were reported.
Violence in Syria has intensified in recent days, despite a partial truce.The upsurge in violence comes amid reports that the Syrian army, backed by Russian air power, is gearing up for a major offensive in Aleppo.The escalation has threatened to derail the UN-brokered peace talks, which resumed last month.On Wednesday, the UN envoy to Syria urged the US and Russia to intervene “at the highest level” to save the talks.
An activist at the scene, Zuhair, said the buildings around the hospital were also hit.”It was an air strike by two rockets, heavy rockets from [a] Russian air strike,” he said.The civil defence agency, which is staffed by volunteers, said the hospital and surrounding buildings were hit by four consecutive air strikes.Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said among the killed was the city’s last pediatrician Mohammed Wasim Moaz, 36.
The hospital featured an eight-bed paediatrics unit and was “the main referral center” for ailing children, the charity said. The facility employed eight doctors and 28 nurses. Following the airstrike there was little left of the emergency room, intensive care unit, and operating room, according to the organization.
A separate airstrike killed as many as 20 people, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, amid mounting worries among international relief coordinators and diplomats that Syria’s conflict could be moving onto dangerous new ground with Aleppo as a pivot point.