ALEPPO, Syria, Syrian forces bombed six hospitals in and around Aleppo in the past week, making it the worst week for attacks on medical facilities in the country since the Syrian civil war began in 2011, the U.S.-based aid group Physicians for Human Rights said.
The group said each attack between July 23 and July 31, including three strikes on hospitals in Aleppo’s eastern half within a 24-hour period, killed patients and “further deprived nearly 300,000 people now trapped in eastern Aleppo of life-saving medical care.” The strikes also damaged infrastructure and destroyed crucial medical supplies.
“Each of these assaults constitutes a war crime,” Widney Brown, PHR’s director of programs, said. “Destroying hospitals is tantamount to signing thousands of death warrants for people now stranded in eastern Aleppo.”
The aid group said five of the six hospitals hit in the past week had previously been bombed by Syrian forces. One strike included a hit on a pediatric clinic where four infants died after their oxygen supply was cut off.
At the same time, the United Nations Children’s Fund said it is “extremely concerned” for the safety and well being of children caught in the ongoing war. Saad Houry, UNICEF’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, called for “unhindered humanitarian access to children and families wherever they are located across the city.”