The last children’s hospital in besieged Aleppo has suspended operations after a brutal “double-tap” bombing.
A wave of airstrikes targeted medics in the rebel-held eastern district as they treated dozens of children who had been hit with chemical attacks.
Doctors and patients fled to the basement as more than 20 barrel bombs pounded the centre on Wednesday morning.
But less than 48 hours later two missiles tore through the unit as staff carried-out a clean-up operation.
Video footage shows the terrifying moment nurses pulled new-born babies from their incubators and fought their way through the dust and debris in search of safety.
The Independent Doctors Association, a medical group, said barrel bomb attacks had damaged two facilities it supports in eastern Aleppo — the children’s hospital and the only bloodbank in the area.
Medical facilities have regularly been hit, and sometimes completely destroyed, in the government’s fight against rebels, though Damascus and Moscow deny they target hospitals.
Doctors Without Borders said the children’s hospital and a specialized surgical hospital were hit by Wednesday’s strikes.
“Hospital staff managed to move children – including prematurely born babies – from cots and incubators to the basement of the building in order to shelter them from the bombing,” said the aid group, which sponsors both hospitals.
“You cannot imagine what we see every day: children who are coming to us as body parts. We collect the body parts and wrap them in shrouds and bury them,” said Bara’a, a nurse at one of the affected hospitals, who was present during the bombings.
“Tell the world to wake up, to wake their consciences. Where are you? When Palestine was being destroyed everyone got involved. Why are Syria’s children being forgotten? Nobody is doing anything to reduce this suffering.”
Monday saw yet another targeted strike in Syria. Not against Isis or against anyone threatening. No, the latest attack was another deplorable airstrike on a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) hospital that was providing vital medical care to the region surrounding Maarat al-Numan.
According to a monitoring group in the area, the attack resulted in more than nine people’s deaths – including one child’s – and was carried out by Russian forces. Only two days earlier they had agreed to limit hostilities in Syria.
This was no accident. Four rockets hit the hospital: it was a targeted attack, and a cold-blooded one too.
Of the 470,000 Syrians who have been killed in this terrible war, the overwhelming majority have been killed by Assad and his allies, and that’s even truer of the civilian casualties. The United Nations in February concluded that the Assad regime had violated the laws of war in six distinct ways and committed systematized atrocities — crimes against humanity — in seven separate categories, including rape and extermination. There is no cruelty IS has committed, from sexual violence to immolation, that the regime has not at least matched and usually exceeded.
In relation to “Medieval Political Absolutism” and “Malignant Narcissism“, consider calling what Moscow-Damascus-Tehran have going in Syria the worst case of “Political Gaslighting” in history.
Readers who have made it this far with BackChannels KNOW that Assad incubated ISIL — to blackmail the west; to goad the west with refugees and a related terrorist threat; and to serve as a foil for demonstrating the latest and greatest out of Moscow’s updated military boom-boom: with Moscow central to the project, Syria has been made a win-win-win for each dictator’s ambitions and image.
BackChannels asks (along with Ukrainians) whether greater American cooperation (appeasement) with “Moscow-Tehran” will not herald the end of meaningful democracy and freedom worldwide.