Russian Jets Strike Syrian Hospitals

A member of the Syrian Civil Defense searches for survivors in the rubble of a hospital in Darat Izza, 30 kilometers northwest of Aleppo A member of the Syrian Civil Defense searches for survivors in the rubble of a hospital in Darat Izza, 30 kilometers northwest of Aleppo AAREF WATAD / AFP

17 February 2020

Russian airstrikes hit two hospitals, residential areas in northeast Syria

The Syrian Civil Defense reported that Russian jets struck two hospitals in the northern town of Darat Izza near the Turkish border in the Aleppo province. According to the World Health Organization, over half of Syria’s health facilities have been damaged or destroyed since the start of the civil war in 2011. In addition to targeting the hospitals, Russian airstrikes were also fired at villages in the northwestern Idlib province. The Idlib province is a stronghold for rebel forces, and it is one of the last regions President Bashar al-Assad must recapture in order to regain control of the entire country. 

In early 2020, Syrian and Russian forces made significant progress in recapturing the Idlib province from the rebel opposition forces stationed there. The rebel forces, backed by Turkey, have been protecting displaced Syrian civilians in the Idlib province. As Assad’s forces get closer to reclaiming the Idlib province, the civilians are fleeing to Turkey, which already took in almost 4 million Syrian refugees, Al Bawaba reported. The fighting in Idlib threatens nearly 1 million civilians. 

Turkish troops are stationed in Idlib as part of agreements with Russia to de-escalate the civil war. However, last month, Syrian armed forces killed 12 Turkish troops and one civilian contractor during a military skirmish. Turkish President Erdogan has said Turkey will begin pushing back against Syrian troops in Idlib if they do not fall back. Turkish officials met with Russian officials in Moscow this week to discuss a ceasefire, but no agreement was met. 

 

To read more, visit: 

https://www.albawaba.com/news/russian-jets-strike-two-hospitals-syrias-aleppo-1339691

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200219-russia-syria-regime-deliberately-attack-civilians-un-says/

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/17/middleeast/idlib-syria-offensive-intl/index.html

 

Author: Vito Quaglia; Editor: Rachel Warner

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