Middle East

Dozens killed as 5 hospitals, 2 schools attacked in Syria: UN

UN chief deeply concerned by attacks that kill 'close to 50 civilians including children' in Aleppo, Idlib

Dozens killed as 5 hospitals, 2 schools attacked in Syria: UN


Dozens of civilians including children were killed Monday when missiles hit at least five medical facilities and two schools in northwestern Syria, a UN spokesman said.

Farhan Haq told reporters in New York that UN chief Ban Ki-moon expressed deep concern about the attacks in Aleppo and Idlib provinces, which left "close to 50 civilians including children" dead and many others injured.

"Such attacks are blatant violation of international laws," Haq said, adding that offensive "are further degrading an already devastated health care system and preventing access to education in Syria".

The attacks "cast a shadow", he said, on commitments made last week by top diplomats from the International Syria Support Group meeting in Munich, who agreed to work toward a temporary “cessation of hostilities” and securing deliveries of humanitarian aid to besieged towns and villages.

"We must capitalize on the agreements reached and translate them into action if the credibility of and confidence placed in the International Syria Support Group and the international community are to be justified," Haq added.

In one of Monday's airstrikes that struck a hospital funded by Geneva-based medical charity Doctors Without Borders, or MSF, 11 people were killed and 25 others were injured, a local civil defense source told Anadolu Agency.

Local sources said Russian warplanes also struck a second hospital in Idlib, killing three people and injuring 10, as well as a children’s hospital in the opposition-held city of Azaz near the Turkish border.

Russian and Syrian regime aircraft operate above the area. According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, Russia and Syrian government forces were responsible for 1,195 of the 1,395 civilian deaths in Syria last month.

The civil war, which will enter its sixth year next month, has left more than 250,000 victims dead and made the country the world's single largest source of refugees and displaced persons, according to UN figures.

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