By Adham Kako and Mohamed Misto
At least 11 civilians were killed early Thursday in airstrikes carried out by Russian warplanes in the Maarat al-Numan district of Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, local civil-defense officials have said.
Ubeda Zikra, a pro-opposition civil-defense officer in Maarat al-Numan, told Anadolu Agency that at least three civilians had been killed -- and seven more injured -- when Russian warplanes struck a private hospital in the village of Deir Sharqi.
“Russian jets hit the hospital four times, rendering it completely inoperable,” Zikra said.
Another four people were killed, he added, in a separate airstrike that targeted a funeral procession in Idlib’s village of Maar Shurin.
Mustafa al-Hajj, another local civil-defense official, told Anadolu Agency that an ambulance garage in the nearby village of Maarzita had also been struck, killing four medics.
In a Wednesday joint statement, UN humanitarian officials called for an end to airstrikes targeting civilian infrastructure -- particularly medical facilities -- in northern Syria.
“It is completely unacceptable that facilities and people who are trying to save lives are being bombed,” Kevin Kennedy, the UN’s regional humanitarian coordinator for Syria, said in the statement.
Such attacks, he asserted, “have taken the lives of hundreds of medical personnel”.
Ali Al-Zatari, another UN humanitarian coordinator, urged all sides of the conflict to comply with “international humanitarian and human rights law to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure”.
The statement went on to cite at least six separate attacks this month that targeted medical facilities in Idlib.
*Mahmoud Barakat contributed to this report from AnkaraAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.