As It Happens

At least four hospitals bombed in a single day in Syria

At least four hospitals in rebel-held northern Syria were hit by airstrikes earlier today. A general surgeon in Aleppo — one of the few left — tells us what the impact is to civilians when hospitals are levelled to the ground.
A picture shows the rubble of a hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) near Maaret al-Numan, in Syria's northern province of Idlib, on February 15, 2016, after the building was hit by suspected Russian air strikes. MSF confirmed in a statement that a hospital supported by the aid group in Idlib province was "destroyed in air strikes". / AFP / STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images) (Getty)

Civilians in northern Syria are getting used to airstrikes. And today, some of the most vulnerable locations were hit.

At least four hospitals and two schools in rebel-held Syrian towns were hit by missiles. The United Nations has said that as many as 50 people, including children, have been killed in the attacks. Several more are wounded.

People gather on the rubble of a hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) near Maaret al-Numan, in Syria's northern province of Idlib, on February 15, 2016, after the building was hit by suspected Russian air strikes. MSF confirmed in a statement that a hospital supported by the aid group in Idlib province was "destroyed in air strikes". / AFP / AL-MAARRA TODAY / GHAITH OMRAN (Photo credit should read GHAITH OMRAN/AFP/Getty Images) (Ghaith Omran/Getty)

A hospital run by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in the province of Idlib was hit hard. 

"It was a disaster," says Dr. Abdul Aziz — one of the few general surgeons left in Aleppo. "The hospital is composed of a basement, ground floor and two storeys. The whole of the hospital is totally destroyed."

We are not using this doctor's real name, in order to protect his identity.

Around 40,000 people in the area depended on this hospital. Aziz says it was the only facility in the area where patients could receive orthopaedic or reconstructive surgery.

MSF has called Monday's attacks deliberate. The aid organization believes that Russian forces or the Syrian government are to blame. Aziz agrees.

"[Russia] would like to force Syrians to be ruled by Assad and his regime," he says. 

"This is my life. I don't know where the sun is." - Dr. Abdul Aziz

Aziz, who is in Turkey right now, is headed back to Aleppo in the coming days. He says it's increasingly "risky" work, as the targeting of hospitals has become habit. The hospital where Aziz works is in a basement. There are sandbags on the doors and windows, to protect people from shrapnel.


"This is my life. I don't know where the sun is," he says.

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