MSF-backed Hospital in Syria Destroyed by Air Strikes

Civil defense members search for survivors after airstrikes by pro-Syrian government forces in the rebel held al-Qaterji neighbourhood of Aleppo on Monday. MSF claims that a hospital was struck on Tuesday but did not cite the origin of the air strikes. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail

PARIS, Feb 15 – A hospital supported by medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in the Idlib province of northern Syria was “deliberately” hit by air strikes on Monday and eight people are missing, MSF said in a statement.

“This is a deliberate attack against a health establishment,” said Massimiliano Rebaudengo, MSF head of mission. “The destruction of this hospital deprives about 40,000 people of healthcare in this conflict zone.”

MSF said the hospital was destroyed after being hit by four missiles following two attacks within a few minutes interval. At least eight people are unaccounted for.

It did not identify the origin of the air strike.

But a Turkish security official said seven Russian missiles struck the hospital, adding the the civilian death toll to rise above 14.

Independent Doctors Association, a Syrian non-government organization that runs a hospital in Bab al Salama near the Turkish border, said at least 30 people were wounded in the attacks.

The hospital, which has 54 staff and holds 30 beds, is financed by the medical charity. MSF also supplies medicines and equipment to the facility.

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