Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Russia rejects Syria war crimes claim over hospital attacks

Workmen at the site of the bombed hospital (15 February 2016)
Russia says it "categorically rejects" accusations of war crimes over the bombing of hospitals in Syria. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said "those who make such statements are not capable of backing them up with proof". Up to 50 people were killed in missile attacks on at least four hospitals and a school in rebel-held areas of northern Syria on Monday. The UN said "intentionally directing attacks" at hospitals and medical units would constitute a war crime. Russia has been accused, by Turkey among others, of being responsible for the attacks.

Monday's strikes hit two hospitals - including one for mothers and babies - and a school sheltering internally displaced people in Azaz, near the border with Turkey, the UN said. Thirty-four people were killed and dozens wounded. Two hospitals were also struck in Maarat al-Numan, further south in Idlib province, killing at least 12 people and wounding about 36. One of the hospitals in Maarat al-Numan was supported by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF). It was reportedly struck by four missiles in what MSF said was "direct targeting" over the course of 90 minutes.

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