Air strikes hit Aleppo hospitals, dozens killed

Jun 09, 2016, 2:12 AM EDT
Destruction in Syria
(Source: Foreign and Commonwealth Office/flickr)

A series of air strikes in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo hit three medical facilities on Wednesday, killing at least 20 people and injuring dozens of others. The assault comes a day after President Bashar al-Assad vowed to retake “every inch” of the territories held by the Syrian rebels.

A statement issued by Peter Salama, U.N.I.C.E.F.’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said that hundreds of medical facilities, including six in the past two weeks, have been destroyed across the country, notes the BBC. The healthcare apparatus in rebel-held Aleppo is overburdened, with only a handful of hospitals operational for serving more than 350,000 residents.

Amid intensifying violence, the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (S.O.H.R.) called on the international community to take all possible measures to protect civilians caught in the crossfire between the regime and opposition, writes Al Jazeera.

In a separate development, Syrian rebel forces drove out Islamic State fighters from several villages north of Aleppo, which were seized by the militant group last month. The militants reportedly mobilized to strengthen their frontlines around the towns of Tabqa and Manbij, where government and U.S.-backed Kurdish forces have launched a massive operation.