The main emergency hospital in the rebel-held east of the Syrian city of Aleppo has been hit in an air strike for the third time in a week, while the remaining hospitals can’t coup with the overwhelming number of injuries.
Assad regime, backed by Russia, said on September 22 it was starting a new wide offensive to recapture the rebel-held parts of Aleppo after a week-long ceasefire was declared officially over on 19 September. the offensive includes a ground assault, artillery bombardment, and intensive airstrikes.
Since 19 September, more than 600 civilians have been killed and more than 2000 injured in rebel-held areas of Aleppo province, including the besieged eastern part of the city, Civil defense workers said.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who announced on Monday that Washington was suspending talks with Moscow due to Russia’s role in the offensive, said peace efforts must carry on.
Two waves of airstrikes struck eastern Aleppo’s M10 hospital, one of the last three functioning major hospitals in the east of the city. The first strike hit the hospital on Monday morning, killing seven people and leaving a large hole near the entrance.
It was still reported to be functioning until a second strike in the early evening, when rescue workers were still at the scene. The hospital had already been struck from the air on Saturday and workmen were repairing the damage at the time of the first strike on Monday.
Both M10 and the second-largest hospital in the area, M2, were heavily bombed on Wednesday, while only 30 octors were left for more than 250.000 civilians in the besieged areas.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said four of the last eight functioning hospitals in eastern Aleppo had been damaged by air strikes in the past four days.
“Doctors are performing brain and abdominal surgeries … on the floors of the emergency rooms, for lack of available operating theatres,” said Pablo Marco, MSF’s Middle East operations manager.
The medical charity Doctors Without Borders has described the indiscriminate bombing of eastern Aleppo by Syrian and Russian forces as a “bloodbath.”
Living hell in Aleppo
Stephen O’Brien, who heads the United Nations humanitarian office called in a statement for “urgent action to bring an end to their living hell.”
He said that “civilians under bombardment in rebel-held east Aleppo were facing “a level of savagery that no human should have to endure.”
“The healthcare system in eastern Aleppo is all but obliterated,” O’Brien said, after the largest hospital in the rebel-controlled area was hit by barrel bombs on Saturday.
“Medical facilities are being hit one by one,” he added.
“Women, children and men in eastern Aleppo are terrified, trapped and with nowhere to hide. They are subjected to bunker buster bombs, barrel bombs, mortar rounds and artillery shelling. Those who use such weapons in densely populated areas know that they will cause immense harm and suffering to civilians. Yet they persist,” O’Brien said.
O’Brien urged warring parties to at the very least “allow medical evacuations for the hundreds of civilians in urgent need of care”, to “stop all actions that can result in loss of civilian life or damage to essential civilian infrastructure”, and to “Safe, full, regular and unimpeded humanitarian access to eastern Aleppo.”
The Assad regime forces, backed by Russian air power, Iranian ground forces and Shi’ite militia fighters from Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon, has been tightening its grip on rebel-held districts of Aleppo this year, and this summer achieved a long-held goal of fully encircling the area.
Recovering full control of the rebels’ last significant urban area would be the most important victory of the war so far for Assad, strengthening his control over Syria’s most populous and strategically important regions.
The Syrian crisis began as a peaceful demonstration against the injustice in Syria. Assad regime used to fire power and violence against the civilians and led to armed resistance. 450.000 Syrians lost their lives in the past five years according to UN estimates, and more than 12 million have lost their homes.