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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Syria: dozens killed in an airstrike that hit the hospital in Aleppo, as violence intensifies

A rescuer trying to save a little girl in the area hit by the air
strikes in Aleppo
(Image: The Daily Mail Online)
An air strike hit a hospital located in the rebel-held area in the city of Aleppo in Syria on Friday, 29 April, as the fighting intensifies in Syria despite the ceasefire mediated by the UN and the world powers and declared since 28 February.

A hospital is located in Al-Marja district in Aleppo, controlled by the rebels. The hospital was operating under support of the Doctors Without Borders organization. More than 30 people were killed in an air strike, most of them medical personnel and patients of the hospital and inhabitants of the neighboring residential area. There are also children among the victims of the recent attack. Dozens were left wounded.

This is the second attack that targeted a medical facility in Aleppo during the latest week, as the hospital in Al-Quds area was striken earlier this week leaving dozens dead.

A Friday attack was strongly condemned by the UN and world leaders as a terrible act of violence and a "deliberate strike". Assad's forces are accused of being behind the hospital attack, same as the earlier hospital attack in the city of Allepo, though the government forces denied these accusations. US and Germany as well have accused the pro-government forces of the Friday attack.

Evacuation of injured people after the attack of the hospital and
the nearby area in Aleppo
(Image: Times of Israel)
The latest week was marked by the intensifying of combat between the rebels and the government forces in Aleppo, Damascus, Latakia and other cities and areas of Syria. The rebels have been attacking the government-held areas with the rockets and artillery fire, while the government forces answered with the shelling and the air raids and strike in the areas controlled by the anti-government forces. The recent fighting earlier this week has left more than 200 people dead and hundreds of wounded.

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the government strikes have left at least 1230 civilians, among them 18 children, during the attacks in the rebel-held areas, while the rebels' shelling killed at least 71 civilians including 13 children in the government-held areas as well.

Situation in Syria remains critical and tragic, as the biggest losses are among the civilians living in the conflict area. UN and international community called on the sides to halt the violence, as the Syrian peace talks currently held in Geneva are nearly failing due to the withdrawal of the anti-government forces' representatives from the negotiations' process as a sign of protest against intensifying of fighting and Assad forces' attacks.

Al-Quds hospital in Aleppo hit earlier this week
(Image: The Guardian)
New short truce was declared on Friday in different parts of Syria including Damascus and Latakia, where the combat intensified during the recent weeks. The previous ceasefire, mediated by UN and world powers, calmed the situation a little and allowed humanitarian aid to be delivered to the war-torn regions, though the situation deteriorated rapidly, as the fighting between the Assad's and rebels' forces resumed with the new intensity.

US in their turn called on Russia as a main ally of Bashar Al-Assad regime in Syria to influence him and to declare the ceasefire. Thus, the sides have reached a fragile agreement and declared a short truce in Syria, although the city of Aleppo, where the violent combat continues, was not included in the list of the cities and areas where the short temporary truce was declared. The ceasefire will start on Saturday morning and will last for only one day in Damascus eastern part and for three days in other parts of Damascus and in the northern city of Latakia. Aleppo was not mentioned in the statement.

More than 270 000 people were killed in Syria since the beginning of the conflict in 2011, hundreds of thousands injured, while nearly half of the country's population was forced to leave the country escaping the war.