Activists say Syrian government bombing kills 11 in key rebel hospital

by Reuters

Syrian activists say government warplanes bombed one of the main hospitals serving rebel-held territory in the north of the country.

Syrian warplanes have bombed one of the main hospitals serving rebel-held territory in the north of the country, according to activists and video footage.

Eleven civilians, including two doctors, were killed in the strike against the hospital on Wednesday in the town of al-Bab, 19 miles (30km) northeast of Aleppo city, the opposition Aleppo Media Center said on Thursday.

Video footage posted on a social media website, which Reuters cannot independently verify, shows the limp body of a young child being carried out of the hospital by a man. Another boy lies on the floor, blood on his head and dust covering his body.

In the video, dust fills the air. Rubble and smashed up air conditioning units lie on the floor.

The Aleppo Media Center said that the emergency and radiology departments were destroyed in the attack.

A voice in the videos can be heard saying repeatedly in Arabic "God is Great", and identifying the site as "the field hospital" in the town of al-Bab.

"This criminal regime strikes even the hospitals," the voice in the videos can be heard saying. "Here is where the rocket has landed.''

The voice goes on to lay the blame for the air strike at the feet of the Assad regime, saying "Wounded people due to the barbaric Assad air strikes on the town of al-Bab town.''

Reuters is unable to independently verify the content of these video clips.

Syrian jets have bombed civilian schools, hospitals and bakeries - illegitimate targets under the laws of war - during the 2-1/2-year conflict which started with pro-democracy protests against four decades of Assad family rule.

More that 100,000 people have been killed and divided world powers have been unable to halt the violence.

The government has not commented on the strike but state news agency SANA said on Thursday that the army had killed 14 "terrorists" - a term it uses for rebels - north of al-Bab in an operation on a militant convoy.