Two hospitals were damaged and a bakery hit in bombardments of rebel-held eastern Aleppo early on Wednesday, residents said, as Syrian regime forces pressed their Russian-backed campaign to retake the whole city.
At least six people were killed by artillery shelling in the al-Maadi neighborhood while they queued for bread at the bakery, residents and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The airstrikes early Wednesday hit the M1 and M10 hospitals, knocking out the hospital’s oxygen and power generators and cutting off water supplies, putting them temporarily out of service. Medical officials said the strikes led to the death of two seriously ill patients.
Mohammed Abu Rajab, head of M10 hospital, the largest of eight hospitals in eastern Aleppo, says two patients died because they could not be kept alive. He says the intensive care unit was severely damaged.
Adham Sahloul, of the Syrian American Medical Society, based in Gaziantep, Turkey, confirmed the strikes and described them as deliberate. He says regime forces know the location of both facilities.
The closures leave eastern Aleppo with six functioning hospitals, only three of which are capable of dealing with emergencies.
Over 250,000 civilians are thought to be besieged in the rebel-held sector of Aleppo, where intensive bombing by regime forces and their allies has killed hundreds of people since a ceasefire collapsed last week.
Pope Francis Wednesday decried the assault on the Syrian city of Aleppo, saying those responsible for the bombing would face God’s judgment.
Speaking to tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square, Francis called Aleppo “this already martyred city, where everybody is dying – children, old people, sick people, young people.”
Francis said he’s “united in suffering through prayer and spiritual closeness” to Aleppo’s people.
He called for utmost efforts to protect civilians in Syria’s civil war, raging since 2011.
“I renew to all an appeal to commit themselves with all their strength to protect civilians,” Francis told the crowd during his weekly address.
“This is an imperative and urgent obligation. I appeal to the consciences of those responsible for the bombings, who will one day will have to account to God,” he said.
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