Aleppo, Syria, has been the target of several airstrikes which began on Saturday night, and at least five medical clinics were hit in the raid.
The airstrikes lasted until after midnight and killed five people in the Aleppo province of Syria, according to the Associated Press. One person killed was a 2-day-old infant who was in the Children’s Hospital being run by the Independent Doctors Association (IDA), an organization in Syria.
The Washington Post reported that the Children’s Hospital was bombed twice, but the second airstrike did the most damage.
The IDA released a statement saying that the oxygen supply was cut to a room where many babies were being cared for after the second airstrike. A head nurse took the 2-day-old male infant away from the danger of the airstrikes, but his time away from the oxygen support proved deadly.
“The situation is so bad. The hospital is greatly damaged and this is not the first time. We are really tired,” the hospital’s head nurse said while she cradled the dead baby boy in her arms. “After the second strike, we had to move him downstairs to the bomb shelter, and that’s why he died.”
The IDA said that Children’s Hospital will not open again until it can be certain that the hospital will be under protection.
Some of the hospitals in the troubled Syrian city claim they were hit more than once, suggesting that they were targets of the government, but some witnesses claimed that only one of the hospitals suffered a direct hit and the hospitals were still functional, but doctors would not reopen them out of fear they would be struck again.
“The deliberate targeting of hospitals is part of a strategy to either drive civilians to leave the country or ensure their suffering is severe if they remain in opposition-held areas,” said Widney Brown, Director of Programs at Physicians for Human Rights. “If they are wounded from attacks they may not be able to get lifesaving treatment. If they are sick, likewise.”
“According to Physicians for Human Rights, 750 medical personnel have been killed in Syria so far, 698 of whom were killed in attacks carried out by government forces and their Russian allies. The group says that between 2011 and May this year, there were 373 attacks on 265 medical facilities,” reported the Associated Press.
Troops supporting Bashar al-Assad, the President of Syria, recently stopped the supply route into the province of Aleppo, keeping medical supplies, humanitarian access, and other professionals out of the city which houses nearly 250,000 people. The troops supporting the President of Syria are often backed by Russian warplanes.
“They are targeting all vital public utilities,” al-Halaby told reporters by telephone.
The U.N. special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, previously said that he wishes to be able to schedule more talks about the civil war in Syria in Geneva in August.
On Sunday, a foreign ministry official said the government of Syria was ready to get back to peace talks which had been hushed over the spring.
[Photo by AP Photo/Manu Brabo, File]