The Assad regime and Russian forces were behind airstrikes that hit two hospitals in northeastern Syria back in February 2016, an investigation initiated by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) concluded. The medical charity said that 25 people, including an MSF staff member, were killed and 11 others wounded in the attack.
On 15 February 2016, the MSF-supported Ma’arat Alnuman hospital was hit by rocket fire. The casualties were taken to another hospital that was targeted later on the same day. After the attack, Dr Mego Terzian, president of MSF’s French section, publicly accused the Russian and Assad regime forces of being responsible for the bombings.
MSF recently asked the Forensic Architecture agency to look into the airstrike on Ma’arat Alnuman hospital. Investigations of the agency used amateur photographs and video footage to help reconstruct the crime scene.
The Forensic Architecture team has conducted an investigation based on videos and photographs circulating on social media, taken by medical personnel, activists and ordinary citizens. The team has authenticated and analyzed the images to reconstruct the bombing. While their investigation does not provide solid evidence, it does confirm MSF’s conviction as to the responsibility of the Assad regime and Russian forces in the bombing of the hospital in Ma’arat Alnuman.
According to the investigation, Russian and Assad regime planes were seen to take off from their respective bases at a time and location that corresponds to the strikes, while examination of video footage of one of the planes shows its resemblance to the MiG-23 that the Assad regime alone uses in the country. The Forensic Architecture investigation goes on to confirm the use of ‘double/triple tap’, which is repeated bombing of the same target at close intervals – a clear illustration of the relentless persecution of civilians and relief organizations in Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)