Syria’s war: Deaths as air strikes hit Idlib hospital

Women and children among the dead in attack on the hospital near the city of Idlib in the country’s northwest.

At least 10 people, including three children and four women, have been killed in air strikes on a hospital in northwestern Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province.

Al Jazeera’s Adham Abu Hossam, reporting from the site of the attack in Meles, a town about 15km from Idlib city, said Saturday’s raids had also left many in critical condition.

“Destruction is everywhere. This hospital has been targeted with four consecutive air strikes,” he said, adding that rescue teams continued the search for survivors.

Al Jazeera team’s narrow escape in Aleppo air strike

Humanitarian groups have repeatedly called for a halt to strikes on medical facilities.

Syrian opposition groups say Syrian and Russian forces deliberately target medical buildings.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, also reported the air strikes, saying it was not yet clear whether Russian or Syrian government jets had targeted the hospital

“The hospital now is completely out of service. According to doctors working in it, the hospital used to serve 70,000 people in this area,” said Al Jazeera’s Hossam.

“This is not the only hospital targeted by regime and Russian air strikes today.

“They also targeted a hospital in Sarmin [also in Idlib province] and it is now out of service. Other hospitals have been targeted in the last few days.”

Syrian American Medical Society, the medical charity, said that July was the worst month for attacks on medical centres since the beginning of Syria’s five-year-old conflict.

“There were 43 attacks on healthcare facilities in Syria in July – more than one attack every day,”  the charity said in a statement.

Aleppo siege ‘broken’

Opposition activists reported further developments in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo with the first humanitarian aid convoy containing food supplies coming in after rebels declared they had broken the government siege on Saturday. 

READ MORE: Syria opposition says rebels break siege of Aleppo

Fadi Hajjar of the Aleppo Media Centre said the lorry had been sent from fellow Syrians in Idlib, which lies southwest of Aleppo, but that rebels still needed “to create a passage between the liberated and previously besieged areas”.

“It is full of wreckage. We need to remove [the wreckage] before we can bring in more trucks and more aid,” Hajjar told Al Jazeera.  

Food and other vital supplies have been running low since government forces surrounded Aleppo last month.

Now, with the government siege reportedly broken, a coalition of rebel groups has announced the takeover of a strategic military base there.

The latest activist videos show people celebrating in the streets of Aleppo, but Syrian state TV says government troops repelled the rebel offensive, killing hundreds of fighters.

The Syrian conflict began as a mostly unarmed uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011, but it quickly escalated into a full-blown civil war between government forces loyal to Assad and various opposition groups. 

The observatory estimates that more than 280,000 Syrians have been killed throughout the five years of bloodshed.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies