20:09 Sep. 28, 2016
Two of the largest hospitals in rebel-held Aleppo bombed as Russian-backed assault intensifies
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attacks Wednesday on the two largest hospitals in rebel-held parts of Syria's Aleppo as "war crimes," AFP reports.
"Let us be clear. Those using ever more destructive weapons know exactly what they are doing. They know they are committing war crimes," Ban told the Security Council.
"Imagine the destruction. People with limbs blown off. Children in terrible pain with no relief," he said. "Imagine a slaughterhouse. This is worse."
According to AFP, an air strike and artillery fire hit two of the largest hospitals in rebel-held parts of Syria's Aleppo on Wednesday, in what rights groups said was a deliberate strategy of targeting civilian infrastructure.
President Bashar al-Assad's forces and his Russian allies have carried out a barrage of air strikes on opposition-controlled eastern Aleppo since Syria's regime announced a bid to retake all of the divided city.
Dozens of civilians have been killed, residential buildings have been reduced to rubble and residents of eastern districts – already suffering under a government siege – are facing severe shortages of food and medical supplies.
The latest bombardment of the city is reported to be the worst in Syria's five-year civil war, and came after the failure of a short-lived ceasefire brokered by Russia and the United States earlier this month.
The two hospitals were struck just before dawn, with the M10 facility hit in an air strike and the M2 facility hit with artillery fire, Adham Sahloul of the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), which supports both hospitals, said to AFP.
The attacks put both facilities temporarily out of commission and left only six hospitals operational in the eastern parts of the city, Sahloul said, calling the attacks "deliberate".
The government of President Bashar al-Assad, backed by Russian air power, Iranian ground forces and Shi'ite militia fighters from Iran, Iraq and Lebanon, has launched a massive assault to crush the rebels' last major urban stronghold.
As reported, US Secretary of Defense said Russia's approach in Syria is to contribute in violence.