At least three civilians were killed and five others injured in airstrikes by the Syrian regime and its Russian allies on the northwestern province of Idlib, local sources said Monday.
The airstrikes also left a district hospital, a mosque and some houses heavily damaged, said the sources who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal.
Ali Hessum, the hospital’s director, said the facility was serving 6,000 patients at a time.
“The hospital has become completely out of service. It was providing free medical treatment to locals in general surgery, urology, x-ray, emergency service, pediatrics and gynaecology departments,” he said.
“The warplanes bombed Kefer village of Idlib before they targeted the hospital. They gave us some minutes to evacuate the hospital. That’s why we do not have any civilian casualties,” he added.
“Thousands of people in the region will no longer get health services,” he said.
Also, the ground troops of Russia, Iran and the regime attacked and seized the strategic Museyrife hill — which defended the route to Maaretinuman — one of the biggest towns of Idlib.
Turkey and Russia agreed in September 2018 to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone where acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
The Syrian regime and its allies, however, have consistently broken the terms of the cease-fire, launching frequent attacks inside the zone.
The de-escalation zone is currently home to some four million civilians, including hundreds of thousands displaced in recent years by regime forces from throughout the war-weary country.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN officials.
*Writing by Fahri Aksut
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