Beirut- The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and local Syrian coordination committees reported that Russian and regime warplanes have bombed one of Aleppo’s central hospitals on Saturday for the second time in four days. The attack resulted in the hospital shutting its services.
The Syrian American Medical Society, which supports the hospital, said it had been struck by barrel bombs.
M10, the city’s main trauma hospital, in eastern Aleppo, was struck as the United States and its allies urged Russia to halt the bombing and reach a diplomatic resolution.
A doctor at the hospital told the Aleppo Media Center, an activist collective, that thousands of people were treated in the compound in the past adding that two people were killed in Saturday’s airstrikes and several were wounded.
“A real catastrophe will hit medical institutions in Aleppo if the direct shelling continues to target hospitals and clinics,” said the doctor whose name was not given. He said the whole hospital is out of service.
The attack drew immediate condemnation from France and Germany. French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the shelling of healthcare structures and personnel in Aleppo amounted to war crimes, adding: “Their perpetrators will be held to account.”
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier tweeted: “The bombing of Aleppo needs to finally stop! Whoever wants to fight terrorists does not attack hospitals!”
On the other hand, in an effort to restore control over Aleppo, Russian-backed regime forces in Syria continued battering opposition-held civilian neighborhoods on Saturday.
As pro-regime forces pushed with their offensive against opposition-held areas, Aleppo’s supply of fresh water has been cut due to fighting between opposition fighters and regime forces near a water pumping station in the eastern Suleiman al-Halabi district.
“There have been airstrikes in Suleiman al-Halabi in the area of the water pumping station. Engineers cannot perform work there now, as the front line passes nearby and the militants are keeping the station under heavy fire,” a field source said.
The U.S. envoy to the United Nations last week described Russia’s actions in Syria as “barbarism,” not counter-terrorism.
U.S.-Russian tensions over Syria have escalated since the breakdown of a cease-fire last month, with each side blaming the other for its failure. Syrian regime forces backed by Russian warplanes have launched a major onslaught on opposition-held parts of Aleppo.
Russian news agencies quoted Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying that a U.S. intervention against the Syrian army “will lead to terrible, tectonic consequences not only on the territory of this country but also in the region on the whole.”