Maternity hospital in Syria's Idlib bombed: Save the Children

Maternity hospital in Syria's Idlib bombed: Save the Children
A maternity hospital in a rebel-held area of Idlib province was extensively damaged on Friday after a direct hit, international charity Save the Children, which supports the hospital, said.
2 min read
29 July, 2016
Last week air raids struck four makeshift hospitals and a blood bank in Aleppo [AFP]
A maternity hospital supported by Save the Children was bombed on Friday in an air raid in Idlib province of northwest Syria, the Britain-based charity said.

Airstrikes targeted rebel-held town of Kafar Takharim hitting the hospital, causing casualties and heavy damage.

The number of casualties remains unclear but the charity told media there were at least two fatalities.

"Save the Children supported maternity hospital in #Idlib bombed, casualties reported - numbers unconfirmed," it tweeted.

The bombing "hit the entrance to the hospital, which is the biggest in the area, serving over 1300 women monthly and carrying out over 300 deliveries a month", Save the Children said in an email.

The hospital was heavily damaged, it is now barely operational, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

It was unclear whether the raids were carried out by Syrian regime aircraft or warplanes of its Russian allies, the Observatory added.

"This is the only hospital specialising in maternity and children in the northern western side of rural Idlib," Save the Children said. The next facility is some 70 kilometers [44 miles] away.

The hospital opened in 2014 and has an on-call pediatrician and six incubators for premature babies.

Amnesty International called the attack "unlawful." 

"Deliberate attacks on hospitals and medical facilities are serious violations of the laws of war and can never be justified," said Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Programme Director at Amnesty International.

"Hospitals, which have special protection under international humanitarian law, should be safe places for mothers, new-born infants and medical workers – even in the midst of a brutal prolonged conflict," Luther added.

Last week, air raids struck four makeshift hospitals and a blood bank over a 24-hour period in the regime-besieged eastern sector of the city of Aleppo.

Agencies contributed to this report.