Dozens killed in Syria’s national hospital bombing

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About least two-dozen people including several children have been killed in northern Syria in the latest apparent attack by forces loyal to the Bashar al-Assad regime on medical facilities in opposition-held areas, United Nations officials and activists have said.

The bombing of the national hospital and its surroundings in Idlib city, a provincial capital wrested from Assad-regime control last year, was only the latest incident in an unforgiving and systematic aerial campaign against medical personnel and facilities that has gone unpunished despite its intensification over the last year and a half.

“There is no use to all of this. The bombing of hospitals will continue and cannot be stopped – that much is clear,” said Zedoun al-Zoabi, the head of the Union of Syrian Medical Relief Organisations, which operates a number of hospitals in northern Syria. “We have lost hope, and all we can do is build hospitals underground because there is no international decision to prevent the bombing of hospitals.”

A statement from the office of the UN high commissioner for human rights sent to the Guardian said the attack happened at 10pm on Monday, with multiple airstrikes by pro-government forces targeting the national hospital. According to first responders, at least 30 people were killed and dozens of civilians wounded, with the death toll likely to rise amid ongoing rescue operations, the statement said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said several children were among the dead. It was unclear if the attack was conducted by Russian or Syrian fighter jets.

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