International Charity Accuses Syrian Forces Of Targeting Rebel-Held Hospitals

| by Reuters

The international charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) accused the Syrian government on Friday of systematically bombing hospitals in rebel-held areas.

MSF said strikes against hospitals by Syrian warplanes had killed 11 people, including three hospital workers, in the northwesterly Idlib province in the past week, and wounded 31 others.

"The incidents that happened in the last few days in Idlib clearly were by planes with missiles, and it's very, very clear by the damage that this was intentional and targeted," MSF's head of mission for Syria, Sylvain Groulx, said by telephone.

"It's completely contrary to international law."

Most of Idlib province has fallen this year to a coalition of Islamist insurgents, who have been gaining ground as they press west toward President Bashar al-Assad's coastal heartland. The provincial capital fell in March.

"After the fall of Idlib (city), immediately the major hospitals that were still standing at the time were bombarded by government warplanes," Groulx said.

He said all sides fighting in the more than 4-year-old civil war, which has killed a quarter of a million people, were responsible for attacks on healthcare facilities, but the majority had been carried out by government forces.

(Reporting by John Davison; Editing by Kevin Liffey) / Photo credit: MSF