The United Nations and Washington on Monday condemned air strikes on medical facilities and schools in Syria that the world body said killed almost 50 civilians, with the US implicating Russia.
Also ahead of a hoped-for ceasefire, Kurdish fighters in northern Syria captured a key town despite Turkish cross-border shelling, a monitor said, as Ankara and Moscow traded accusations over their military entanglement in the conflict.
The United Nations said air strikes on at least five medical facilities and two schools in northern Syria’s Aleppo and Idlib provinces killed nearly 50 civilians including children.
U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon considers that “such attacks are blatant violations of international law”, added the organisation’s deputy spokesman Farhan Haq.
The United States, which like the U.N. did not identify who carried out the air strikes, said two civilian hospitals were hit in and around Aleppo in northern Syria: one run by medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and another in Azaz city.
Such action “casts doubt on Russia’s willingness and/or ability to help bring to a stop the continued brutality of the Assad regime against its own people”, the State Department said.
But Syria’s ambassador to Moscow, Riad Haddad, said the hospital had been the target of a U.S. raid.
“American warplanes destroyed it. Russian warplanes had nothing to do with any of it -- the information that has been gathered will completely back that up,” he told Russia’s state television channel Rossiya 24.
The increasing violence on the ground in Syria and war of words between Ankara and Moscow have dampened hopes that a proposed cessation of hostilities will take hold this week.
U.N. peace envoy for Syria Staffan De Mistura was making a surprise visit to Damascus Monday, a government source there said, as world powers push for a ceasefire.
Without assigning blame, MSF confirmed a hospital supported by the charity was hit in Idlib, northwest Syria, and said seven people were killed and at least eight were missing, presumed dead.
The air strike devastated the hospital, blasting twisted metal, cinderblocks and other debris into the surrounding area.
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر