Aleppo hospital bombed again
THE largest hospital in rebel-held east Aleppo has been bombed for the second time in days as Syrian Government forces helped a Russian-backed offensive to retake the entire city.
Aleppo, once Syria's vibrant commercial powerhouse, is at the heart of a major military campaign by President Bashar al-Assad's fighters and his ally Moscow.
The offensive, announced on September 22, has seen dozens of civilians killed and residential buildings flattened in the east, where an estimated 250,000 people live under Government siege.
As the situation for civilians grows increasingly dire, M10, the biggest hospital in the rebel-held half of the city, was hit by two barrel bombs on Saturday.
Adham Sahloul, of the Syrian American Medical Society, said patients and doctors "were inside the hospital for basic triage, bandaging, and cleaning services for emergency cases” when the bombardment began and remain trapped there.
Hospital administrator Mohammad Abu Rajab made an urgent call for help on Saturday morning.
"The hospital is being destroyed! SOS, everyone!” he said in an audio message distributed to journalists.
The hospital had been hit on Wednesday, along with the second-largest hospital in the area, known as M2, in what UN chief Ban Ki-moon denounced as "war crimes.”
That bombardment heavily damaged the two facilities and left only six fully functional hospitals in the city's east.
The World Health Organisation has called Syria the most dangerous place in the world for health workers, and Aleppo in particular has seen much of its medical infrastructure destroyed or heavily damaged.
Six children were among 20 civilians killed in the rebel-held sector of
Aleppo on Friday, the British-based the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The Doctors Without Borders medical charity has warned that the recent bombardment was provoking a "bloodbath” in the city.