Syria Crisis: Air Strikes on Hospitals 'War Crimes'
- Gayathri Mathivanan
- February 16, 2016, 3:08 AM
Up to 50 people were killed including children in missile attacks on schools and hospitals in the region, the UN said.
France and Turkey have said that air strikes on hospitals in northern Syria constitute war crimes. Turkey's foreign ministry blamed Russia for the attacks.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the raids violated international law and "cast a shadow" over efforts to end Syria's five-year civil war, while France said the attacks "constitute war crimes".
But Syria's ambassador to Moscow, Riad Haddad, said the hospital had been targeted by 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," he told Russian state television channel Rossiya 24.
Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) confirmed a hospital supported by the charity was hit in Idlib, northwest Syria, and said seven people were killed and at least eight were missing, presumed dead.
The heated words cast fresh doubt on a days-old deal to enforce a nationwide ceasefire later this week, with Syria's President Bashar al-Assad saying it would be "difficult" to implement.
"They are saying they want a ceasefire in a week. Who is capable of gathering all the conditions and requirements in a week? No one," Assad said in televised remarks.
A US State Department spokesperson urged Turkey and Russia to avoid any further escalation. "It is important that the Russians and Turks speak directly, and take measures to prevent escalation".
More than 260,000 people have been killed since Syria's conflict began with anti-government protests in March 2011.
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