World

Four Hospitals Bombed In One Day In Syria, Including Doctors Without Borders Facility

CREDIT: Azaz Media Center,via AP Video

Airstrikes hit a hospital in northern Syria Monday, leaving seven dead and at least eight missing, according to Doctors Without Borders, which manages the hospital located in Maarat al-Noaman.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. According to the New York Times, both Russian and Syrian planes operate in the area where it took place.

A second hospital in Maarat al-Noaman was also hit by airstrikes on Monday, killing three and wounding six. And in Azaz, located in the northwestern province of Aleppo, two more hospitals and a school building housing displaced people were also hit by airstrikes on Monday. Those attacks killed 15 people, and wounded up to 40 others.

A local Syrian medic told Reuters that at least two of the casualties in Azaz were children.


Speaking from Kiev on Monday, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu blamed Russia for the airstrikes in Azaz, which is very close to the Turkish border. Russian officials have yet to respond to the accusations.

All told, the New York Times is reporting that four Syrian hospitals have been struck by warplanes in a single day. It is also the second time in a week that a hospital working with Doctors Without Borders was targeted in an attack, despite the fact that targeted attacks on medical facilities are prohibited under international law.

“This appears to be a deliberate attack on a health structure, and we condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms,” Massimiliano Rebaudengo, the Doctors Without Borders head of mission, said Monday.

In Maarat al-Noaman, the destruction of the Doctors Without Borders-managed hospital leaves 40,000 people without medical care. According to CNN, Doctors Without Borders believes the attack in Maarat al-Noaman was carried out by the Syrian government-led coalition, but residents in both Maarat al-Noaman and Azaz blamed Russia for the attacks.

On Friday, more than a dozen countries — including the United States and Russia — agreed to a partial ceasefire in Syria, though Russian officials did not agree to immediately end their airstrikes.

Over the weekend, Russia — which has been waging an intense airstrike campaign directed at rebel groups — denied that they were targeting civilians and civilian facilities.

On Sunday, President Obama urged Russia to cease their bombing of “moderate rebels.” On Monday, Russia launched several airstrikes in Syria’s northern Latakia province, targeting rebel positions.