Turkey accuses Russia of killing 50 in bombings of hospitals, schools

Published February 16th, 2016 - 11:23 GMT
The UN called the attacks 'a blatant violation of international law'. (AFP/File)
The UN called the attacks 'a blatant violation of international law'. (AFP/File)

According to Reuters, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu claimed that Russia was responsible for sending the missiles that killed 50 people, including children, after five medical facilities and two schools were hit in Syria on Monday. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry also accused Russia of committing an “obvious war crime” after airstrikes killed dozens of people in northern Syria.

The United Nations has also deemed the attacks a blatant violation of international law, Reuters reported.

In the rebel-held town of Azaz in northern Syria, 14 people were killed after missiles hit a children’s hospital and a school containing refugees, according to residents there.

In the province of Idlib, missiles also hit a hospital in the town of Marat Numan, just south of Aleppo.

Reuters also reported that Turkey also issued a warning to Kurdish militia fighters, telling them Turkey would respond with the “harshest reaction” if they tried to capture a town near the Turkish border.

Turkey claims that both the Russian airstrikes and the support of Shia militias backed by Iran has helped the Syrian army come with 25 km (15 miles) of Turkey and the Kurdish YPG are taking advantage of the situation, taking ground from the Syrian army and making its prescreens well known along the Turkish border.

Russia's actions were also condemned by White House national security advisor Susan Rice in the “strongest terms” saying that it was counterproductive to the commitments made last week by major powers in Munich to reduce hostilities in the embattled region to allow humanitarian aid to be delivered: however, the unsigned deal doesn’t go into effect until the end of this week.

Russia’s Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova responded to the accusations by saying Russian air strikes were targeting Islamic State infrastructure and she had no reason to believe that Russian planes had bombed civilian sites in Idlib.

Reuters quoted the minister as saying in Geneva: "We are confident that (there is) no way could it be done by our defense forces. This contradicts our ideology.”

Syria's ambassador to Russia said U.S. war planes were responsible.

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