Hospital hit again as Syria army presses Aleppo assault
THE largest hospital in rebel-held Aleppo was bombed for the second time in days as Syrian government forces pressed a Russian-backed offensive to retake the entire city.
Aleppo, once Syria’s vibrant commercial powerhouse, is now at the heart of a major military campaign by President Bashar al-Assad’s fighters and his steadfast ally Moscow.
The offensive, announced on September 22, has seen dozens of civilians killed and residential buildings flattened in the east, where an estimated 250,000 people live under government siege.
Diplomatic efforts to end the fighting across the country have all but collapsed.
However, the foreign ministers of the United States and Russia, which brokered a week-long truce deal that collapsed last month, spoke by phone on October 1.
The foreign ministry in Moscow said on Facebook that Sergei Lavrov spoke to his American counterpart John Kerry and they “examined the situation in Syria, including the possibility of normalising the situation around Aleppo”.
It said “illegal armed groups” continue fighting in the city despite Russian-US agreements.
As the situation for civilians in Aleppo grows increasingly dire, the largest hospital in the east of the city was hit by barrel bombs on October 1, the medical organisation that supports it said.
That bombardment badly damaged the two facilities and left only six fully functional hospitals in east Aleppo. The UN has called the attacks a war crime. –