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'Aleppo’s Scenario' Threatens Idlib following Russian Escalation - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Beirut, Tel Aviv – While Russia intensified its aerial attacks in Syria, targeting on Thursday health-care institutions in 11 hospitals in the Idlib province, the Syrian opposition said many Syrians now fear the repetition of the “Aleppo scenario” in Idlib.

Director of the Syrian Network for Human Rights Fadel Abdul-Ghany confirmed that Russian warplanes have increased their military strikes by targeting eight medical positions in Idlib in one month, adding that the health-care conditions in the province remain catastrophic.

“Patients are forced to travel long distances in search for treatment, putting their lives in danger,” Abdul-Ghany told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that “apparently Russian warplanes” bombed two hospitals in northwestern Syria on Thursday leaving 10 civilians dead including two babies in incubators.

It was the third time since Saturday that medical facilities in the province had been hit in airstrikes.

Although the Syrian opposition fears that a scenario similar to the one already faced in Aleppo could be witnessed in the Idlib province, the Syrian political wing ruled out that Moscow and the regime advance to the province in the current circumstances, Khaled al-Nasser, a member of the Syrian National Coalition told Asharq Al-Awsat on Thursday.

“The conditions changed and the Russians are now worried and have incompatible views. Entering Aleppo was feasible because the Russians had agreed with the Turks, something difficult now, particularly following the US assault on the Shuyeirat airport,” he said.

Separately, regional and Syrian opposition sources said that early on Wednesday, Israel attacked a weapons depot operated by the Lebanese “Hezbollah” near the Damascus Airport, which is used by Iran to send arms in commercial and military cargo aircraft.

Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz hinted that his country was responsible for the attack.

“The incident in Syria corresponds completely with Israel’s policy to act to prevent Iran’s smuggling of advanced weapons via Syria to Hezbollah,” he said, speaking to Army Radio.

The Syrian regime accused Israel for striking the weapons hub near the Damascus Airport.

Hours following the attack, the Israeli Army announced it shot down “a target” over the Golan Heights.

On its Twitter account, the Israeli military announced it had intercepted the later “target” over the Golan Heights on the border with Syria, without elaborating.