Syrian Army Refuses Hospital Shelling Claim in Aleppo

Syrian Army Refuses Hospital Shelling Claim in Aleppo
Thu Apr 28, 2016 18:44:10

The Syrian army has dismissed accusations that its warplanes targeted a hospital in the northwestern city of Aleppo.

The army made the denial in a statement issued on Thursday, state television reported.

According to the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights a wave of airstrikes hit the al-Quds hospital in a militant-held area in Aleppo early on Thursday, killing at least 27 people.

The hospital was supported by international medical charity Doctors Without Borders, also known by its French acronym MSF.

Three children and six hospital staff, including the city's last pediatrician, were among the casualties of Thursday’s air raids.

The chief Syrian opposition negotiator Mohammed Alloush blamed the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the deadly aerial assaults, saying the latest sure in violence shows "the environment is not conducive to any political action."

Meanwhile, the Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned that the fighting raging in Aleppo had worsened the humanitarian plight of tens of thousands of residents in the city.

Meanwhile, Jan Egeland, the chairman of the UN-backed taskforce on humanitarian aid to Syria, raised concerns over the situation in Aleppo, warning that a lifeline for millions of Syrians risks being broken.

Egeland made the remarks after a weekly meeting of major and regional powers in the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) in Geneva, Switzerland.

"The catastrophic deterioration in Aleppo over the last 24-48 hours, also in parts of Homs area, was reported live to members of ISSG today ... No one doubted the severity of the situation," he said.

At least 49 civilians were reportedly killed in recent rocket attacks carried out by foreign-backed militants in Aleppo.

The developments come as the latest round of UN-brokered indirect Syria peace talks, which began on April 13, were brought to a halt after the main foreign-backed opposition group, known as the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), walked out of the discussions to protest what it called the Damascus government’s violation of a cessation of hostilities.

Following the latest Aleppo fighting, Staffan de Mistura, the United Nations special envoy for Syria, said the ceasefire, which went into effect on February 27 across Syria, was "barely alive."

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. Damascus says Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar are the main supporters of the militants fighting the government forces.

According to de Mistura, some 400,000 people have lost their lives as a result of over five years of conflict in Syria.

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