Russia Says One of its Medics Killed in Aleppo Hospital Attack

A Russian soldier stands near a bus carrying people who came back to inspect their homes in government controlled Hanono housing district in Aleppo, Syria December 4, 2016. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki

MOSCOW/BEIRUT, Dec 5  – The Russian Defence Ministry said on Monday that Syrian opposition rebels had deliberately shelled a Russian military field hospital in Aleppo, killing one female military medic and injuring two more.

Major-General Igor Konashenkov said rebels had directed artillery fire at the mobile field hospital after it had started receiving civilians and had scored a direct hit on its reception.

“Without doubt the shelling was carried out by ‘opposition’ rebels,” Konashenkov said in a statement. “We know who the rebels got the exact information and coordinates about the hospital reception from.”

Konashenkov said the United States, Britain and France bore responsibility for the attack on the hospital, which was located in a government-held district, because they were supporting the rebels.

“The blood of our personnel is on the hands of those who ordered this murder, those who created, nurtured and armed these animals in human guise.”

Russia’s news portal published a video showing rubble and tattered tents at the site.

The shelling of the hospital began at 11 in the morning and lasted for one and a half hours, Russian officer Vladimir Savchenko told reporters in Aleppo.

“It was located in an open space and was very clear (to see) and was far from the scene of fighting,” said Savchenko.

“There were no military personnel in the hospital, just doctors who had come to try and help Syrians.”

The United Nations and medical charities have repeatedly called on warring parties on all sides of the Syrian conflict not to target medical facilities.

Aleppo’s health directorate says hospitals in the east of the shattered city have been repeatedly bombed out of service in recent weeks.

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