Syrian govt attacks two hospitals, bread line in Aleppo

Associated Press . Beirut

Government shelling and airstrikes in Syria’s eastern rebel-held Aleppo landed near a bread distribution center and two hospitals Wednesday, killing seven people and putting at least one of the medical facilities completely out of service, activists and medics said.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Aleppo Media Center said six people were killed outside the bread distribution center.
Aref al-Aref, a nurse at M2, one of the hospitals, said government shelling hit the bread distribution center near the city center before dawn. As the wounded were brought into the hospital, one of the five shells fired in a sequence fell at the emergency entrance, killing one person accompanying a wounded patient, al-Aref said.
Al-Aref said the shelling caused damage to the hospital and put parts of it out of service. He said three hospital staff members were injured.
Later, an airstrike hit near the M2 hospital, he said. No one was injured.
In another attack, an airstrike hit near a hospital in the northern part of the rebel-held area, cutting off electricity and water supplies. Mohammed Abu Rajab, head of M10 hospital, the largest of eight hospitals in eastern Aleppo, said the intensive care unit was most affected when the airstrike hit, as the generators and the oxygen supplies were knocked out.
Abu Rajab said the patients from ICU had to be moved to another facility, because the intensive care unit was unable to run. Water supplies and the hospital’s fuel tanks were also hit, Abu Rajab said.
Footage from the hospital’s power station showed fuel tanks, generators and oxygen cylinders damaged from the attack.
The Observatory said the neighbourhood where M10 hospital is located has been targeted by warplanes, helicopters and artillery since early Wednesday.
“It hit when we were asleep. No one has slept since and we are exhausted,” said Abu Rajab. He said authorities “know this facility and where it is very well,” and that it is one of the oldest and largest hospitals in Aleppo. No one was injured in the attack, he said.
Adham Sahloul of the US-based Syrian American Medical Society, which supports the two hospitals, said the two attacks on the medical facilities took place at the same time, suggesting they were deliberately targeted. He noted that it was believed earlier that airstrikes directly hit the hospital buildings, but in fact strikes and artillery fire destroyed the surrounding infrastructure. He said that while the two hospitals were not directly hit the attacks caused structural damage to both.

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