Russian cluster bombs destroy entire district in Aleppo, Syria

Special to WorldTribune.com

An entire district of the Syrian city of Aleppo was destroyed by Russian cluster bombs in attacks the UN said were “blatant violations of international law.”

Video of the Feb. 15 attack was recorded and shows Russian warplanes dropping the cluster bombs on the city. Reports from the scene say the attacks killed at least 50 people and struck five hospitals and two schools.

The first bomb dropped by the Russian fighter jet hits buildings in Aleppo.
Video grab of the first bomb dropped by Russian fighter jet hitting buildings in Aleppo on Feb. 15.

UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haqsaid said the attacks “are further degrading an already devastated health care system and preventing access to education in Syria.”

The video from Aleppo emerged after activists say missiles, thought to be Russian, hit a children’s hospital and school in the rebel-held town of Azaz near the Turkish border. Three children and a pregnant woman were among the dead in Azaz.

“We have been moving scores of screaming children from the hospital,” Juma Rahal, a medic, told Reuters, adding that several children were killed and ambulances were taking a large number of injured people to Turkey for treatment.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) claims that at least eight of its staff are missing after rockets hit a hospital that it supported in the province of Idlib in northwestern Syria.

In a statement, MSF said the hospital was hit with four times in at least two attacks.

“This appears to be a deliberate attack on a health structure, and we condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms,” said Massimiliano Rebaudengo, MSF’s mission chief.

“The destruction of the hospital leaves the local population of around 40,000 people without access to medical services in an active zone of conflict.”

London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed Russian warplanes targeted the MSF hospital.

U.S. Sen. John McCain on Feb. 15 accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of deliberately targeting civilian facilities in a bid to fuel the migration crisis and destabilize Europe.

Turkey, meanwhile, accused Russia of acting as a “terrorist organization” in Syria and said it would deliver a “decisive response” to Moscow’s bombing campaign in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Turkey, as well as several Western nations, says Russia is focusing its air strikes mainly on rebel groups backed by the U.S. and its allies and not Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) as Moscow claims.

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