2 women’s hospitals knocked out by Assad bombs

An ambulance was destroyed following four consecutive airstrikes on a medical facility dedicated to women in Idlib, Syria, on Friday. (AP)
Updated 26 November 2016
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2 women’s hospitals knocked out by Assad bombs

BEIRUT: Airstrikes and rockets in northern Syria knocked out two medical centers dedicated to women on Friday and killed at least 12, including two people in one of the health facilities, according to opposition activists, a charity group and a hospital manager.
Warplanes and artillery shelling also continued to pound the besieged rebel-held neighborhoods of the northern city of Aleppo as government troops pushed their way from the enclave’s northeastern district.
Shafak, a Turkey-based Syrian NGO that supports medical facilities in Syria, said their UN-sponsored gynecology and gender-based violence treatment and awareness center in Termanin village in the northern Idlib province was hit by four consecutive airstrikes on Friday afternoon, killing two civilians who were in the building and injuring a gynecologist and a janitor in the facility.
The center, which receives about 35 patients a day and is the only such facility in the area, has been put out of service, Shafak said in a statement. The center’s ambulance, emergency room and operation rooms were badly damaged, said Assad Al-Halabi, an advocacy manager in Shafak. Al-Halabi said one of the killed was accompanying a patient. The second killed has not yet been identified.
A video and photos released by Shafak showed extensive damage to the collapsed building, as well as a destroyed incubator and ambulance.
The Syrian Civil Defense team in Idlib said their team was targeted with airstrikes while they were conducting a search and rescue mission at the hospital — with what has become known as “double tap” strikes. The group said none of its volunteers were injured.
Another gynecology hospital in the besieged parts of Aleppo city was also hit Friday.
Abdul-Hamid Al-Eissa, Al-Zahra hospital manager, said four generators were knocked out and the building was no longer usable. He said the hospital, in a quarter known to house several medical facilities, was hit with rockets. One civilian was badly injured and his leg had to be amputated, Al-Eissa said.
The hospital posted several photographs showing the damage on its Facebook page, adding that all staffers and patients were safe and evacuated.
“It was directly hit. Missiles first hit the balcony,” he said. As he spoke, a projectile could be heard falling nearby. The hospital was knocked out of service. A couple of hours later, another airstrike was reported at the hospital.
The government has recently stepped up its bombardment of eastern Aleppo, and by Sunday it had knocked out every hospital in the quarter, according to the World Health Organization.
Also on Friday, airstrikes targeted a village in the western countryside of Aleppo, killing at least five people including children.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the airstrike on the village of Taqad caused widespread destruction and killed 11, including four children and three women. The opposition’s Halab Today TV and Step News Agency said five people, including children, were killed in the airstrike and dozens wounded.
An amateur video posted online showed Civil Defense members and residents pulling out a dead child from under the rubble in the village. The video appeared genuine and corresponded to other AP reporting of the events.


British-Iranian aid worker moved back to jail from hospital ward — husband

In this undated photo provided by the Free Nazanin Campaign, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe hugs her daughter Gabriella, in Iran. (AP)
Updated 23 July 2019
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British-Iranian aid worker moved back to jail from hospital ward — husband

  • British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told parliament the fact she had been moved back to prison was “a positive sign”

LONDON: British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been transferred back to an Iranian prison from a hospital psychiatric ward, her husband said on Monday.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was moved to the psychiatric ward of Imam Khomeini hospital in the capital on July 15, the “Free Nazanin” campaign group run by her husband said last week.
“Nazanin has been returned from psychiatric hospital, and is now back in Evin prison,” her husband, Richard, said in a statement. She was discharged at her request and the request of the hospital doctor, the campaign group said.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe was told she had been admitted to hospital for a 10-day period of assessment. She received psychotherapy sessions, had physical checks and was prescribed some medicines, the campaign group seeking her release said.
In its release, the group quoted Zaghari-Ratcliffe saying that she was kept in a private room measuring 2 meters by 3 meters (6.5 feet by 9.8 feet) and was handcuffed and chained to the bed day and night.
The Iranian embassy in London declined immediate comment on the case.
“They did all they could to me – handcuffs, ankle cuffs, in a private room 2x3m, with thick curtains, and the door closed all the time,” she was quoted as saying. “I wasn’t allowed to leave the room, as I was chained to the bed.”
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told parliament the fact she had been moved back to prison was “a positive sign.”
“The way that she was detained for a week without being able to have any access to her family was totally unacceptable and I am afraid all too predictable from the Iranian regime,” he said.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in April 2016 at a Tehran airport as she headed back to Britain with her daughter after a family visit, and was sentenced to five years in jail after being convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran’s clerical establishment.
Her family and the Foundation, a charity organization that operates independently of Thomson Reuters and Reuters News, deny the charge.