Friday, 18 November 2016

Air strike hits children's hospital in Syria's Aleppo

An air strike has hit a children's hospital in Syria's eastern Aleppo, forcing its medical staff to evacuate their patients, including several newborn babies still in incubators.
The moment of the attack on Friday was captured by an Al Jazeera crew, including journalist Amro Halabi, who was reporting about survivors of previous Syrian government and Russian air strikes in the rebel-held areas of the city.
Halabi was showing scenes of a man and his two children, who suffered breathing problems from an earlier attack on Friday, when the room turned dark immediately followed by a loud explosion.
Nurses and other medical staff were next seen scrambling through the dark and trying to rush the patients out of the ravaged area of the hospital, as children cried for help. 
In another room, nurses were seen removing infants from the damaged incubators, with one hospital staff member using a cloth to protect a visibly undernourished baby, while trying to console another woman who was also carrying a baby.
The nurses later moved the babies to another room, placing them on the floor next to each other. At least one of the infants was seen with medical tubes still attached.
Medical staff said that all infants survived the attack.
More than 250,000 civilians are still trapped in the besieged areas of Aleppo, constantly under bombardment, with dwindling food supplies and extremely limited medical care.

Onslaught of air strikes

Earlier, it was reported that at least 49 people were killed in Aleppo in a bombardment that started late on Thursday, according to witnesses and activists.
Friday was the fourth day of renewed assaults by Syrian jets on eastern Aleppo districts.
The onslaught began as Syria's ally Russia announced its own offensive on the northern rebel-controlled Idlib province and Homs province in central Syria.
Since then, more than 100 people have been killed across northern Syria.
Another hospital in a different Aleppo neighbourhood was also bombed on Thursday night, according to media reports.
Only four of seven hospitals are still operating in the district, according to Adham Sahloul, of the Syrian American Medical Society, which supports health facilities in Aleppo.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said dozens of air strikes, artillery and barrel bombs hit 18 different neighbourhoods of eastern Aleppo.
Government bombings have targeted neighbourhoods with medical facilities, including the children's hospital and a nearby clinic that has one of the few remaining intensive care units in eastern Aleppo, the Observatory said.
Many hospitals and clinics in the besieged area have moved their operations underground after months of relentless bombardment.
The World Health Organization said that in 2016, it recorded 126 attacks on health facilities, a common tactic over the five years of Syria's civil war. Russia and the Syrian government deny targeting hospitals.
The city of Aleppo, once Syria's commercial centre, has been divided since 2012, with the eastern half in rebel hands and the western half controlled by government forces.

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