Amnesty accuses Russian, Syrian troops of targeting hospitals

BEIRUT - Russian and Syrian government forces have been targeting hospitals as a strategy of war in Syria's conflict, according to a report released by a rights group Thursday.

See Full Article

Amnesty International said it has "compelling evidence" of at least six deliberate attacks on medical facilities in the Aleppo governorate over the past twelve weeks, which killed at least three civilians, including a medical worker, and injured 44 more. It said the attacks amounted to war crimes.

Aleppo witnessed some of the country's fiercest fighting in the buildup to the partial cease-fire that came into effect Friday as government forces backed by Russian airstrikes cut off a rebel supply route from Turkey.

A supply route to an opposition stronghold in the eastern part of Aleppo city remains open through another border crossing with Turkey, but it is far narrower and more dangerous than the one that used to run to the north.

Amnesty said the attacks on medical facilities aimed to pave the way for pro-government ground forces to advance on northern Aleppo.

On December 25, several missiles struck Baghdad Hospital in Hreitan, a town north of Aleppo City, killing a medical worker, and injuring 10 staff and 20 patients, a doctor and another medical worker told Amnesty International. It left the hospital in ruins.

Some of the last families remaining in Hreitan fled as pro-government forces advanced on the town in early February. "I have lived in Hreitan all my life, and I have never seen it deserted," said a father to Amnesty International. "The airstrikes destroyed the city's infrastructure including hospitals so there are no more services for us to be able to survive."

Russia has denied targeting civilians in its Syria campaign. Syria's president, Bashar Assad, has also denied targeting civilians, saying he is waging a war against terrorism, but he has said that it is a "rule of thumb" in war that innocent civilians die.

The monitoring group Physicians for Human Rights has documented 346 attacks against medical facilities in the course of the five-year conflict, killing 705 medical staff.

It said 315 of the attacks were conducted by Syrian or Russian forces. A report by the group last year said the Syrian government "systematically violated" the principle of medical neutrality by targeting medical facilities and doctors, detaining patients, and arresting, torturing, and executing doctors.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Key vote looms for Russia sanctions bill opposed by Trump

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The Republican-led House is set to vote soon on a sweeping Russia sanctions package that defies the White House by demanding that U.S. President Donald Trump get Congress' permission before lifting or easing the economic penalties against Moscow. Source
  • 'I will take dramatic action': Scaramucci threatens to chop staff if White House leaks don't stop

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump's new communications director says he will take "dramatic action," including cutting staff, if leaks originating from the administration don't stop. In his first round of media interviews since his press conference after being named to one of the top jobs in Washington, D.C. Source
  • Five shot inside east-end Toronto bar

    Canada News CTV News
    Five people were shot inside an east-end Toronto bar early Sunday morning. Police said shots were fired inside McGradies Tap & Grill around 2:30 a.m. Three victims were located inside the bar and transported to the hospital. Source
  • Baby Charlie Gard protesters to rally as hospital reports threats

    World News Toronto Sun
    LONDON - Protesters who want critically ill British baby Charlie Gard to receive an experimental medical treatment are planning a rally and prayer vigil Sunday, while hospital officials say emotions are running so high in the heart-breaking case they have received death threats. Source
  • Sergei Kislyak, Russian ambassador to the U.S., ends his term

    World News CTV News
    MOSCOW -- The Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergei Kislyak, a prominent figure in the controversy over Russia's possible involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, has ended his assignment in Washington. The Russian Embassy in Washington announced on Twitter that Kislyak's tenure ended on Saturday. Source
  • Good Samaritans double stolen sock donations for homeless shelter

    Canada News CTV News
    A Toronto man was overcome with gratefulness after his co-workers and members of the public helped replace stolen goods meant for a homeless shelter. Thomas Aquino was devastated when 450 pairs of socks and two bags of canned goods meant for the Good Shepherd homeless shelter were stolen from his van. Source
  • Good Samaritans double sock donations stolen from homeless shelter

    Canada News CTV News
    A Toronto man was overcome with gratefulness after his co-workers and members of the public helped replace stolen goods meant for a homeless shelter. Thomas Aquino was devastated when 450 pairs of socks and two bags of canned goods meant for the Good Shepherd homeless shelter were stolen from his van. Source
  • Princes William, Harry remember their final phone call with Princess Diana

    World News Toronto Sun
    LONDON - It was a typical phone call between two boys and their mother, who was on vacation in France. It was brief — the boys wanted to get back to playing with their cousins, not spend time on the phone chatting. Source
  • Forest fire triggers landmine explosions in Croatia

    World News CTV News
    ZAGREB, Croatia - Emergency officials say a forest fire that has spread to southern Croatia from neighbouring Montenegro has triggered 34 explosions, probably from mines left over from the region's war in the 1990s. The area near the walled Adriatic city of Dubrovnik was a frontline during the conflict that erupted after Croatia declared independence in 1991. Source
  • Protesters rally to support baby Charlie Gard's parents as hospital reports threats

    World News CBC News
    Protesters in London backing the fight of British parents of a critically ill baby to get him an experimental medical treatment in the U.S. plan a rally and prayer vigil Sunday, as officials at a British hospital where Charlie Gard is on life support say they have received death threats. Source