Assad regime’s airstrikes have put four makeshift hospitals and a local blood bank in Aleppo out of action in the past 24 hours, in addition to airstrikes on several neighborhoods in Aleppo, according to local rescue workers and a monitor.
“Five medical facilities were hit [overnight] and are out of service right now,” Ammar Salmo, spokesman for a volunteer rescue group known as the White Helmets told Al Jazeera.
The bombardment since Saturday has worsened the plight of residents of besieged eastern neighborhoods of Syria’s second city, where food and medical supplies are becoming increasingly scarce.
The hospitals, as well as a blood bank that was hit, were located in the Al-Shaar neighborhood, said the Independent Doctor’s Association, a group of Syrian doctors that supports clinics in Aleppo.
“Only one of the hospitals has suffered a direct hit. People there say it has stopped operations for the moment, but we are told it will be back up in a couple of days,” a journalist said.
“The other hospitals and the blood bank were in an area where there were air strikes rather than them been apparently directly targeted. No buildings have been destroyed but operations have been affected in this places. There is supposed to be a ceasefire which began in February that clearly is all but in name,” he added.
A newborn baby was killed
The bombardment killed a two-day-old baby in a children’s hospital in a besieged eastern neighborhood of Aleppo when his oxygen supply was cut after a raid, said the Independent Doctors Association, a group of Syrian doctors that supports clinics in the city.
“After the second strike, we had to move him (the baby) downstairs to the bomb shelter, and that’s why he died,” said Malika, the head nurse at the children’s hospital.
“The hospital is severely damaged and it’s not the first time,” she said, in online conversations with IDA representatives seen by AFP.
Footage posted by the IDA of the strike’s aftermath showed agitated doctors carrying a tiny baby in a room lined with incubators, with sandbags piled high just outside the entrance.
All four hospitals were out of service on Sunday.
Only 5 hospitals left
An AFP journalist in eastern Aleppo said heavy air strikes had resumed after a brief pause on Sunday morning.
The streets were empty except for ambulances speeding to the site of fresh bombing raids with their sirens wailing.
According to the IDA, five hospitals are left operating in eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo city, devastated by a regime siege that took hold earlier this month.
“In addition to the siege-like conditions being endured by the residents of Aleppo after the last supply line was cut earlier this month, we are facing a major humanitarian disaster with medical care suspended,” the group said.
“Besiegement and the decimation of health care constitute war crimes. We demand an immediate end to and accountability for the collective punishment the city faces.”
Pro-regime forces have surrounded the rebel-held eastern half of the city for more than 15 days, in an attempt to take full control of the strongest rebel bastion in the country’s north.