Daily Management Review

Northern Syria Hospitals Hit by Airstrikes


Northern Syria Hospitals Hit by Airstrikes
In an incident that marks the latest in an escalating series of attacks on medical facilities and workers in the five-year civil war, airstrikes have hit hospitals in two locations in northern Syria.
After a facility it supports in Maaret al-Numan, Idlib province, was hit four times in two separate raids, eight of the staff members were missing, said Médecins Sans Frontières. There has been an unrelenting aerial bombardment by Russian warplanes and Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Idlib though the MSF did not blame any side for the bombing.
“This appears to be a deliberate attack on a health structure, and we condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms. The destruction of the hospital leaves the local population of about 40,000 people without access to medical services in an active zone of conflict,” said Massimiliano Rebaudengo, MSF’s head of mission in Syria.
A missile struck a children’s hospital in the rebel held town of Azaz, near the Turkish border, killing 10 and wounding more than 30 in a separate incident, claimed Syrian opposition activists. A Russian ballistic missile had hit the town, said Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. Over the weekend, Kurdish positions were shelled near Azaz by Turkey.
Assad has managed to score his most significant advances since the beginning of the war with the help of Moscow’s intense airstrike campaign. This has also set to derail a “cessation of hostilities” deal agreed by major powers in Munich last week.
A blanket denial was issued over the weekend that his country was targeting civilians and civilian facilities in Syria by the Russian prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev. However since Russia’s intervention there have been several attacks on health centers which have been documented. NGO Physicians for Human Rights documented seven Russian attacks on medical facilities in Syria in the first month of the campaign launched last October.
There were demands that Assad must leave for peace in Syria to take hold and that airstrikes are halted and sieges around the country lifted by Riad Hijab, the head of the opposition’s high negotiations committee and a former Syrian prime minister.
“Every day, hundreds of Syrians die from airstrikes and artillery bombardment, poison gas, cluster bombs, torture, starvation, cold and drowning. The Syrian people continue to live in terror and in utter despair after the international community failed to prevent even the gravest violations committed against them. The best approach to put an end to Daesh [Isis] and other extremist groups must start with the removal of the Assad regime,” said Hijab, speaking in Munich.
Bombing rebel positions to pave the way for a regime advance, Russia resumed airstrikes on Monday in northern Latakia province near the Turkish border. On Sunday Russia was urged to halt airstrikes against mainstream rebels by the US president, Barack Obama.
Turkey has viewed with growing alarm what it sees as Kurdish expansionism in Syria as it strongly backs anti-Assad rebels and is fighting an insurgency by the Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK) on its own territory. Ankara says the YPG is simply the Syrian affiliate of the PKK.