The Syrian interim government-run health directorate in Aleppo announced that the ferocious aerial bombing by the Assad regime and Russian forces on Aleppo over the past 72 hours has forced all hospitals in the eastern part of the city to suspend operations after they were directly hit by the airstrikes.
In a statement released on Saturday, the directorate said that the Assad regime and Russia are using internationally banned weapons in the bombing of civilians, deliberately attacking vital medical facilities to deny trapped civilians, mostly women, children and elderly access to medical care.
Member of the Syrian Coalition’s political committee Badr Jamous condemned the criminal campaign against civilians, stressing that the ongoing brutal onslaught on Aleppo is clearly aimed at imposing a military solution to the conflict. He pointed out that the Assad regime and its allies are blatantly defying all international norms and laws and violating the international humanitarian law.
“The Assad regime and Russia are effectively killing the political process,” Jamous said, stressing that the international community as a whole is responsible for the ongoing bloodbath in Syria as it has failed to shoulder its primary duty, namely to protect civilians.
Minister of Health in the Syrian interim government Mohammad Jundi said that medical facilities have been the primary target of the ongoing aerial campaign by the Assad regime and Russian air forces. He pointed out that in addition to the hospitals in eastern Aleppo, airstrikes have knocked out three hospitals in western rural Aleppo. One of the hospitals was completely destroyed, Jundi added.
Jundi warned that nearly 300,000 civilians currently trapped in eastern Aleppo are left without access to basic medical care with no hospitals having the capacity to operate on victims of bombings and airstrikes.
Activists in Aleppo province confirmed that 10 medical facilities have been knocked out in the rebel-held parts of the province during the past 72 hours, adding that the Assad regime and Russian jets bombed 13 medical facilities during October.
Meanwhile, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) on Saturday said that the only specialized pediatric hospital in besieged eastern Aleppo has come under attack for the second time since airstrikes resumed on 15 November. The airstrikes destroyed three floors and left the hospital out of service. Three other hospitals have also taken direct hits, resulting in casualties among staff and patients and leaving two key surgical hospitals and the largest general hospital out of service.
“This is a dark day for east Aleppo. The severity of the bombing has inflicted huge damage on the few hospitals working around the clock to provide medical care,” says Teresa Sancristoval, MSF emergency coordinator. “The attacks have destroyed entire hospitals, electric generators, emergency rooms and wards, forcing them to stop all medical activities. It is not only MSF that condemns indiscriminate attacks on civilians or civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, but also humanitarian law. The message is simple and I don´t know how to say it any louder: stop bombing hospitals.”
MSF said that at least 130 medical facilities have been targeted by airstrikes and barrel bombs since the beginning of 2016.
The charity medical organization has previously called on the Assad regime and its Russian ally to put an end to the bloodbath in Aleppo and to stop the bombing of civilians. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office)