Bombing in northern Syria continues

UNITED NATIONS. — Bombing in northern Syria continued yesterday after nearly 50 people were killed in bombing of hospitals and schools on Monday, sparking strong condemnation from the United Nations and mutual accusations between the United States and Russia.

The UN on Monday lashed out at a spate of reported attacks on medical facilities and schools in Syria, which killed nearly 50 civilians, while the US and Russia continued to point fingers at each other.

“The secretary-general is deeply concerned by reports of missile attacks on at least five medical facilities and two schools in Aleppo and in Idlib, which killed close to 50 civilians, including children, and injuring many,” said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, at a press briefing.

“Such attacks are a blatant violation of international laws,” he said.

“Among other consequences, they are further degrading an already devastated health-care system and preventing access to education in Syria.”

These incidents “cast a shadow on the commitments” made at the Feb. 11 meeting of the International Syria Support Group, he said.

“We must capitalise on the agreements reached and translate them into action if the credibility of, and confidence placed in the International Syria Support Group and the international community are to be justified,” he said.

It is yet to be determined who carried out the attacks.

The US pointed its finger at the Syrian government with the support of the Russian aircraft, while Damascus blamed the US.

The US on Monday condemned the Syrian government and its supporters for launching airstrikes against civilian targets in northern Syria.

“The Assad regime and its supporters would continue these attacks, without cause and without sufficient regard for international obligations to safeguard innocent lives,” US State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a press release.

Syrian ambassador to Moscow, Riad Haddad, on Monday accused the US of destroying a hospital backed by the humanitarian group MSF(Medecins Sans Frontieres — Doctors without Borders) in Syria.

Haddad told TV channel Russia 24 that the hospital in Idlib had been hit earlier in a US raid.

“American warplanes destroyed it. Russian warplanes had nothing to do with any of it — the information that has been gathered will completely back that up,” Haddad said.

However, the US State Department statement did not mention Idlib specifically, while only condemning air strikes that hit two civilian hospitals “in and around Aleppo,” identifying them as a MSF-run hospital and the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in the city of Aziz. — Xinhua.

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