Syrian Regime, Russia Attacks on Daraa Destroys 3 Hospitals

Published June 27th, 2018 - 01:00 GMT
Russia intervened in Syria's civil war in September 2015 on the side of President Bashar al-Assad's government. (AFP /Vadim Grishankin)
Russia intervened in Syria's civil war in September 2015 on the side of President Bashar al-Assad's government. (AFP /Vadim Grishankin)
Overnight strikes on the southern province of Daraa have left three hospitals out of service, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday.

The bombing raids, including by Russian warplanes, had damaged medical centers in the opposition-controlled towns of Saida, al-Mseifra and al-Jiza in Daraa, said the Britain-based monitor.

The regime has defied American warnings and pressed ahead, with Russian backing, with an offensive to recapture the southern Daraa province that neighbors Jordan and Israel. The area is part of a de-escalation ceasefire deal agreed between Jordan, Russia and the US.

"The Saida hospital was put out of service after midnight, because of unidentified air strikes near the facility," said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.

Air strikes by planes identified as Russian then hit near the medical center in al-Mseifra, damaging it and forcing it to close, he said.

"The hospital in al-Jiza was damaged this morning. There were Russian air strikes close to the hospital, which damaged it and put it out of service," Abdel Rahman added.

He had no immediate information on the fate of medical staff or the patients inside the facilities.

Ahmad al-Dbis, safety and security manager at UOSSM, a medical charity that works in opposition parts of Syria, said the bombardment had caused "material damage" to the three hospitals on Wednesday.

"In addition, a civil defense center in al-Mseifra was struck and damaged," added Dbis, who is based in northern Syria.

The recent closures bring to five the number of hospitals that have been put out of service by the Syrian regime’s week-long military push on the South. 

The regime has previously denied targeting medical facilities in the seven-year-long war.

Troops began ramping up air strikes, rocket fire and the dropping of barrel bombs on opposition territory in Daraa and neighboring Quneitra province on June 19. Some 47 civilians have been killed since then, said the Observatory.

Russian warplanes then began striking, and troops launched an assault on the opposition-held half of Daraa city on Tuesday. 

The Observatory said heavy Russian and Syrian raids, rockets and barrel bombs were still hitting opposition-held neighborhoods on Wednesday morning. 

The United Nations said the offensive has so far forced up to 50,000 people to flee towards the Jordanian border. Jordan, which already hosts some 650,000 Syrian refugees, has said it will not open the border.
This article has been adapted from its original source.

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