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.


Anti-Daesh coalition raids kill 43 in east Syria: monitor

Updated 45 min 50 sec ago
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Anti-Daesh coalition raids kill 43 in east Syria: monitor

  • Seventeen children were among 36 Daesh family members killed in Abu Husn village of Deir Ezzor province near the Iraqi border
  • Another seven victims had not yet been identified as either civilians or Daesh fighters

BEIRUT: Air strikes by the US-led coalition Saturday killed 43 people, mostly civilians, in a Daesh holdout in eastern Syria, a Britain-based monitor said.
Seventeen children were among 36 Daesh family members killed in Abu Husn village of Deir Ezzor province near the Iraqi border, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Another seven victims had not yet been identified as either civilians or Daesh fighters, it said.
The US-led coalition has been backing a Kurdish-Arab alliance called the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighting to expel the extremists from the pocket around Abu Husn.
"It's the highest death toll in coalition air strikes since the SDF launched its attack against the IS pocket" in September, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.
The coalition has repeatedly said it does its utmost to prevent civilian casualties.
"The avoidance of civilian casualties is our highest priority when conducting strikes against legitimate military targets with precision munitions," spokesman Sean Ryan told AFP this week.
Daesh overran large swathes of Syria and neighbouring Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a "caliphate" in land it controlled.
But the militant group has since lost most of it to various offensives in both countries.
In Syria, the group has seen its presence reduced to parts of the vast Badia desert and the pocket in Deir Ezzor.
The coalition has since 2014 acknowledged direct responsibility for over 1,100 civilian deaths in Syria and Iraq, but rights groups put the number killed much higher.