Children's hospital in Aleppo targeted in new wave of attacks

Around 61 people including women and children were killed during shelling in opposition-held parts of the city after a three-week ceasefire declared by Russia ended on Tuesday.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Aleppo, once the biggest city and commercial hub of Syria, has been roughly split in two as a result of a civil war that began in 2011.

At least 61 people, including women and children, were killed and scores of others injured after Russian and Syrian regime jets pounded several neighbourhoods in opposition-held Aleppo. The bombing also struck a children’s hospital, a blood bank and a school.

Aleppo, once a commercial hub of Syria, has been roughly divided in two as a result of a civil war that began in 2011 following a crackdown on pro-democracy forces by Bashar al-Assad's regime. The city's west is controlled by the regime and the east by opposition forces.

Russia launched an extensive air campaign in Syria in September last year with the aim of backing Assad's embattled regime.

More than 250,000 people have been left stranded in besieged parts of eastern Aleppo as regime forces backed by Russia continue to pile up pressure on opposition forces.

The bombing resumed on Tuesday after a three-week moratorium on airstrikes announced by Russia, had ended.

Baybars Meshaal, a civil defence official in Aleppo, said the bombing has been ongoing since Tuesday afternoon.

The shelling targeted the neighbourhoods of Salahuddin, Al-Ansari, Al-Sukkari, al-Firdaws, Al-Qatirgi, Al-Maysar, Al-Shaar, Al-Sakhur, and Bab al-Nairab, he said.

A school in the neighbourhood of Al-Shaar was also struck by the shelling and a number of children were injured, Meshaal added.

“The civil defence teams and ambulance crews find it difficult to reach the targeted places due to the ongoing intensive shelling that targets everything that moves." - Baybars Meshaal (Civil defence official)

A damaged operation room after an airstrike on the opposition-held town of Atareb, in the countryside west of Aleppo. November 15, 2016. (Reuters)

He said a paramedic was killed when a shell landed near his ambulance.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said there had been heavy attacks on five hospitals in Aleppo and Idlib provinces since Sunday, severely reducing access to health services for people in northern Syria.

Air raids also continued in the countryside west of Aleppo from which rebels have launched assaults on regime-held areas.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said an attack on the village of Batbo killed at least 19 people including three children.

Syria's five-year-long civil war has so far claimed over 400,000 lives and displaced more than 10 million people.

TRTWorld and agencies