Prominent Hospital in Aleppo Hit Again as Syrian Crisis Worsens

One of the main hospitals in the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo was reportedly struck Saturday for the second time in four days as regime forces backed by Russia bombard rebel-held areas.

Syrian volunteers carry an injured person on a stretcher following Syrian government forces airstrikes in Aleppo on Sept. 30, 2016. (Credit: Thaer Mohammed/AFP/Getty Images)

Syrian volunteers carry an injured person on a stretcher following Syrian government forces airstrikes in Aleppo on Sept. 30, 2016. (Credit: Thaer Mohammed/AFP/Getty Images)

The M10 hospital was hit by a “torrent” of weapons including two barrel bombs, two cluster bombs and at least one rocket, Adham Sahloul, a spokesman for the Syrian American Medical Society, told CNN.

One person died and 15 were injured in the bombings, according to an activist with the opposition-aligned group Aleppo Media Center. Some patients injured in the attack also had been wounded when bombs struck the same facility Wednesday, the activist said.

M10, the largest surgical hospital in Aleppo, is now out of service, the activist said.

The hospital had just reopened to offer basic emergency care Friday, Sahloul said, following the airstrike earlier in the week that it shut down, including its desperately needed intensive care unit. The city’s M2 hospital was put out of service after also being hit Wednesday, activists said. The Syrian American Medical Society supports both hospitals.

The attacks on M2 and M10 have left only two surgical hospitals in Aleppo, the media center activist said.

On Friday alone, the M10 hospital had seen 84 cases, including 22 children, Sahloul said. Sixteen of those died, including five children.

Aleppo’s medical services are under appalling pressure. About 30 doctors remain in eastern Aleppo, Sahloul said, for a population of some 300,000 at a time of urgent need.

Doctors have resorted to triage, prioritizing those they believe have the best chance of survival, the activist said.

Another three medical facilities in al-Shaar neighborhood — a women’s hospital, a children’s hospital and the central blood bank — were also hit Friday, Sahloul said.

More than 450 people have been killed since a U.S.-Russia brokered ceasefire collapsed Sept. 22, he said.

Syrian government war jets have targeted gathering places such as markets, hospitals and mosques for three days, the Aleppo Media Center activist told CNN.

Most in the city’s eastern districts lack access to clean water following infrastructure damage from shelling and bombing, Sahloul said.

Aleppo saw more aerial bombardments and clashes Saturday following the deaths of 36 people the day before, UK-based monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

A Syrian medical staff member inspects the damage at the site of a medical facility after it was reportedly hit by Syrian regime barrel bombs on Oct. 1, 2016, in Aleppo. (Credit: Thaer Mohammed/AFP/Getty Images)

A Syrian medical staff member inspects the damage at the site of a medical facility after it was reportedly hit by Syrian regime barrel bombs on Oct. 1, 2016, in Aleppo. (Credit: Thaer Mohammed/AFP/Getty Images)

At least 20 people, including six children, were killed then in airstrikes on neighborhoods of rebel-held eastern Aleppo, the group reported.

Separately, at least 16 people, including women and children, were killed Friday in shelling by rebel forces on regime-held parts of western Aleppo, it said.

The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency, or SANA, said 13 people died Friday in Aleppo due to “terrorist rocket attacks.”

Rebel-held districts of Aleppo have suffered intense aerial bombardment by Syrian and Russian warplanes for more than a week, while the Assad regime prepares to take the northern city.

Violent clashes

Regime forces shelled areas of Aleppo’s Old City on Saturday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Regime forces and rebel fighters also engaged in violent clashes in the neighborhoods of Bustan al-Basha and Sheikh Khodr.

The activist group Aleppo Media Center said at least one person was killed and several wounded Saturday in airstrikes by helicopters in eastern Aleppo’s Al-Sakhour neighborhood.

The group also reported artillery shelling by regime forces.

SANA, quoting a police official, reported that at least 13 people were injured in rocket fire in the al-Maydan residential neighborhood in regime-held western Aleppo.

Meanwhile, an estimated 10,000 Syrian-led troops have gathered in advance of what is believed to be perhaps a final ground assault by Syrian forces against rebels in Aleppo.

The past week’s assault on rebel-held areas of the key city involved some of the worst violence since the start of the war in 2011.