Intense airstrikes in Syria’s Aleppo province

Published 9:27 am Monday, July 25, 2016

BEIRUT — Government air raids struck at least five medical facilities in the northern province of Aleppo, where violence has intensified in recent weeks amid a siege by government forces, Syrian opposition activists said Sunday.

The activists said the air raids began late Saturday night and continued until after midnight, killing at least five people across the city, including an infant.

The International Committee of the Red Cross tweeted after reports of the air raids on the provincial capital of Aleppo and the nearby town of Atareb: “Harrowing news: More hospitals hit in #Aleppo this morning. Civilians and hospitals are #notatarget.”

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Rival sides in Syria’s five-year conflict have targeted hospitals and clinics in the past, mostly in the country’s north.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said four clinics were now out of service in the city of Aleppo, as was the fifth in the town Atareb to the west. It said five people had been killed in Aleppo city.

The Observatory said the clinics closed because they feared being targeted again.

Aleppo-based activist Baraa al-Halaby confirmed that five clinics were hit, adding that an infant was killed in a clinic in the Shaar neighborhood of Aleppo in the early hours of Sunday. He added that a blood bank was struck in Aleppo as well.

One of the facilities hit, Al-Bayan Hospital, posted several photographs on its Facebook page showing the damage to the building. A caption read that the hospital was subjected to “more than one airstrike by warplanes causing wide damage and completely putting the hospital out of service until further notice.”

An amateur video posted online shows two nurses, one carrying a baby. They move past seven incubators — four with newborns inside — lining both sides of a room that appears undamaged. The camera then looks out over a balcony lined with sandbags, showing a dusty scene outside and one man running across an otherwise deserted street.