At least 21 people have been killed and dozens others injured in air strikes and rocket attacks on a school and three hospitals in separate locations in northern Syria. In the deadliest incident, at least 14 people were killed and about 30 injured when air strikes and rocket artillery damaged parts of a hospital in the town of Azaz in Aleppo province, the media office at the rebel-controlled Aleppo local council.
In the same raid, a school where refugees were sheltering was also hit. No death toll has been confirmed. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in a news conference in Kiev that a Russian ballistic missile hit the school and hospital in Azaz. The head of the media office, Abu Thaer al-Halabi, told that a section of a highway that facilitates the main supply line for humanitarian aid to the region was destroyed in the raids. Halabi also said the strikes were carried out by Russian jets.
Meanwhile, two strikes on Monday morning targeted a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in the town of Maaret al-Numan in Idlib province, killing at least seven people. The medical humanitarian organisation said the hospital was hit by four missiles in two attacks within a few minutes of each other. Five patients, a caretaker and a hospital guard were killed, MSF said. Eight members of staff are missing, presumed dead, while other patients are also missing, but their numbers are currently unknown, the group added.
“There were at least seven deaths among the personnel and the patients, and at least eight MSF personnel have disappeared. We don’t know if they are alive,” Mego Terzian told the Reuters news agency, adding that he believed Russia or Syrian government forces were behind the attack. Earlier, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said nine people, including a child, had been killed in the “presumably Russian” raids.
A spokesman for the Syria Civil Defence in Idlib confirmed that the hospital was hit but said four people were killed. “At least four people have been killed while several others have been injured. We expect the death toll to rise. There are doctors and MSF staff missing,” Radi said, without stating his full name.