Russia releases video showing it bombed hospital in Aleppo

Russia releases video showing it bombed hospital in Aleppo
Moscow has often denied its role in hitting civilian areas in Syria's civil war, but the video inadvertently shows it bombed a hospital
2 min read
27 February, 2021
Russia's airforce supported the Assad regime's 2016 offensive on Aleppo [Getty]
Russia's defence ministry released on Thursday a video confirming it bombed a hospital near Aleppo, an admission that Moscow targeted civilian infrastructure in Syria's civil war.

The ministry released the video to settle a dispute with Armenia, as Yerevan’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan claimed Russian weapons were ineffective in its war with Azerbaijan.

Russia responded by using social media to show off the success of their weaponry in Syria.

"The Russian Defence Ministry said the experience of using them in Syria showed that these missiles are the best in class," state media reported.

Twitter user @obretix used satellite imagery to show that Moscow, while attempting to prove its weapons' effectiveness, accidentally revealed its complicity in bombing a Syrian hospital. Russia has previously denied its air force has hit civilian areas.

The video shows Russian Iskander missiles hitting various sites, including the Azaz National Hospital, north of Aleppo.

An airstrike in February 2016 on the Women and Children’s Hospital in Azaz killed 14 people during the battle to control Azaz.

At the time, a doctor told Human Rights Watch that the Azaz National Hospital was one of two hospitals destroyed that month, leaving only one functioning hospital in the town. It was evacuated 10 days before the strike.

The Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), backed by Russian air strikes, captured the Minnigh airbase, south of Azaz, from rebel forces. Turkey reportedly began shelling YPG positions around Azaz.

After reports that hospitals in Azaz were targets in attacks, Russia tried to deflect the blame on Turkey, HRW said.

Russia intervened in Syria's destructive civil war in September 2015 to protect the regime of Bashar al Assad, its long-time ally.

Both Moscow and Damascus have faced repeated accusations of targeting civilian areas, in violation of international law.

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