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

  • U.S. border guards can search your phone: here are some details on how

    Canada News CBC News
    In one of several testy exchanges during a U.S. Senate hearing this week, the country's secretary of homeland security was pressed to explain a new policy that allows customs agents to examine the cellphones of travellers at the border. Source
  • Zimbabwe politician jailed during Mugabe era among 5 killed in U.S. helicopter crash

    World News CBC News
    Authorities in the U.S. state of New Mexico say a Zimbabwe politician has been killed in a helicopter crash. State Police Lt. Elizabeth Armijo confirmed Roy Bennett's death Thursday, a day after a helicopter carrying him and five others went down in a mountainous rural area of northern New Mexico. Source
  • Car drives into crowd at Copacabana Beach in Rio; 15 hurt

    World News CTV News
    RIO DE JANEIRO - A motorist who says he lost control of his car drove into the crowded seaside boardwalk along Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday evening, injuring at least 15 people, authorities said. Source
  • Pope shocks Chile by accusing sex abuse victims of slander

    World News CBC News
    Pope Francis accused victims of Chile's most notorious pedophile of slander Thursday, an astonishing end to a visit meant to help heal the wounds of a sex abuse scandal that has cost the Catholic Church its credibility in the country. Source
  • Drone rescue off Australian beach heralded as world-first

    World News CTV News
    CANBERRA, Australia - A flying drone has dropped a flotation device to two teens caught in a riptide in heavy seas off the Australian coast in what officials describe as a world-first rescue. Monty Greenslade and Gabe Vidler got into trouble on Thursday at Lennox Head, 750 kilometres north of Sydney. Source
  • Amid outcry over CFS, Indigenous woman plans to deliver baby in secret

    Canada News CTV News
    Ottawa is preparing for an emergency meeting of Indigenous leaders, provincial and territorial governments, child-welfare agencies and advocacy groups next week to address the staggering overrepresentation of Indigenous children in foster care. Meanwhile in Winnipeg, an Indigenous woman is preparing a home birthing kit. Source
  • 15 hurt after car slams into crowd at Brazil's Copacabana Beach

    World News CBC News
    A motorist who says he lost control of his car drove into the crowded seaside boardwalk along Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday evening, injuring at least 15 people, authorities said. Brazilian military police said in an emailed statement there was no indication that the incident was a terrorist attack. Source
  • Correctional Service fires 2 more staff at Edmonton prison after bullying probe

    Canada News CTV News
    EDMONTON -- The Correctional Service of Canada has fired two more workers at a maximum security prison in Edmonton following an investigation into allegations of workplace harassment, intimidation and bullying. The move follows the termination of four other staff from Edmonton Institution on Jan. Source
  • Russian minister warns against reviving Nazis at exhibition

    World News CTV News
    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov opened an exhibition on the Holocaust in the former Soviet Union on Thursday, saying the world has "a sacred duty" not only to commemorate the millions of victims "but to do everything in our power to prevent such tragedies in the future. Source
  • New Zealand prime minister announces she's pregnant

    World News CTV News
    WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- New Zealand's prime minister announced on Friday that she is expecting her first child in June. Jacinda Ardern, 37, took office in October. Speculation swirled around whether she would start a family soon when she took over the leadership of her then opposition Labour Party last year. Source