Hospitals legitimate target for Assad and Moscow: Russian ambassador

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Major hospital bombed in an airstrike in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. File photo

ARA News

AMSTERDAM – The Russian Ambassador to the UK, Alexander Yakovenko, confirmed that Syrian and Russian governments intentionally bomb hospitals.

Activists reported on Wednesday that while the Russian and Syrian governments claim to target extremists, “airstrikes in Aleppo destroy homes, hospitals and schools.”

However, the Russian ambassador said that the targeting is justified since Syrian rebels are using the hospitals and resident civilians as human shields.

“Most hospitals are unmarked rebel field facilities. Keeping civilians as a human shield is a well-known terrorist tactic,” Ambassador Yakovenko said.

Syrian and Russian jets have resumed their bombing of rebel-held districts, reinforcing Shia militias and the Syrian Army as they lay siege to eastern Aleppo. Violence has intensified in Aleppo since a Russian-American ceasefire deal broke down last month.

Benyam Dawit Mezmur, Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) said in a press release: “Children are being killed and maimed. Airstrikes are hitting the few remaining hospitals. The use of bunker-busting bombs means children cannot even safely attend schools that are underground.”

“We call on Syria and Russia, as well the international community, to show they abide by their human rights obligations set out in those treaties and find a way to end this raging conflict now,” Mezmur said.

According to a Reuters report, France is launching a new initiative with the triple aim of resuming the ceasefire, preventing civilian massacres and getting aid into eastern Aleppo.

Reporting by: W. van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News & agencies 

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