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Largest Hospital in Rebel-Held Aleppo Hit With Barrel Bombs — NGO

At least two barrel bombs hit the largest hospital in the rebel-held side of Syria’s battleground second city of Aleppo on Saturday, the medical organization that supports it said.

The facility, known as M10, had already been hit by heavy bombardment on Wednesday along with the second-largest hospital in the area, in what UN chief Ban Ki-moon denounced as “war crimes.”

“Two barrel bombs hit the M10 hospital and there were reports of a cluster bomb as well,” Adham Sahloul of the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) said of Saturday’s attack.

Both facilities were put out of service by Wednesday’s bombardment, leaving only six operational hospitals in the eastern parts of the city, according to SAMS.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitoring group, said air strikes also hit a smaller field hospital in the Sakhur neighborhood on Saturday.

“One person was killed and the field hospital is out of service,” said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.

He was not able to immediately confirm if the victim was a patient at the facility or a member of staff.

The government’s offensive to recapture the whole of Aleppo has been bolstered by its Russian ally’s rejection of Western demands for a halt to its deadly bombing campaign in support of the advancing troops.

The recent bombardment of the city has been some of the worst in Syria’s five-year civil war, leaving more than 220 people dead and turning residential buildings into heaps of rubble.

The World Health Organization has called Syria the most dangerous place in the world for health workers.

Heavy artillery exchanges rocked the city throughout the night as government forces pressed a two-pronged assault on rebel-held districts, an AFP correspondent said Saturday.

There have been mounting civilian casualties on both sides of the divided city. About 250,000 residents are living under siege by the army in the rebel-held east, and around 1.2 million face daily rocket fire by the rebels on the government-held west.

Medical charity Doctors Without Borders has described the impact of Syrian and Russian bombardment of the east as a “bloodbath.”

Six children were among 20 civilians killed in the rebel-held sector on Friday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

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