Syrian hospital bombings could be 'war crimes' says UN

Syrian hospital bombings could be 'war crimes' says UN
The United Nations has condemned the bombing of five medical facilities and three schools in Syria, believed to be by Russian war planes.
2 min read
16 February, 2016
Dozens of hospitals have been destroyed by bombs dropped from war planes [AFP]

The United Nations has condemned air raids on hospitals and schools in northern Syria could and said they could amount to war crimes.

UN human rights spokesperson Rupert Coville said that if it was found that civilian targets were deliberately and intentionally targeted by war planes - believed to be Russian - they should be treated as war crimes.

Coville also suggested that the number of hospitals and schools hit in Russian and regime air raids would suggest a deliberate "war tactic" by the anti-rebel forces.

"Clearly Syrian and Russian planes are very active in this area. They should know who is responsible, that is all l can say at this moment," he said.

Moscow has been blamed for bombing five hospitals and three schools in rebel-areas on Monday, causing dozens of deaths.

One of the targets included a Medicines Sans Frontiers run hospital in Idlib province, although the group did not assign blame to any party.

The Syrian monitoring group said Russian planes were likely to blame due to flight patterns and types of aircraft used in the bombing in opposition-held Idlib province.

On Tuesday, Moscow blamed Washington for the attack but US planes are not known to operate in the area.

Russia has carried out intensive bombing raids on rebel-held territories since Moscow intervened in the Syria war in September. 

They are now thought to be responsible for the vast majority of civilian deaths in Syria. 

The bombings have helped pro-regime forces take territories from the rebels in the north and south of the country, and forced tens thousands of civilians from their homes.