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March 21, 2021 9:47 am

Syrian Army Shelling of Hospital Kills Seven in Rebel-Held Northwest Syria: Witnesses

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Smoke rises after an air strike in Saraqeb, in Idlib Province, Syria, Feb. 28, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Umit Bektas.

Seven civilians were killed and at least 14 medics were injured when artillery shelling from a Syrian army outpost hit a hospital in a rebel-held town in northwestern Syria on Sunday, medics and rescuers said.

They stated that a woman and a child were among those killed when several mortar rounds hit the hospital in the city of Atareb, which was taken out of service.

Turkey’s defense ministry earlier said on Sunday that five people were killed and 10 injured in an artillery attack by Damascus-backed forces on a hospital in northwest Syria, where they have a military presence.

Videos received by Reuters from two witnesses showed a ward damaged and civil defense rescuers carrying blood-stained patients outside. Reuters could not verify their authenticity.

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Fighting between Syrian army forces and rebels has subsided since a deal a year ago ended a Russian-led bombing campaign that had displaced over a million people in the region that borders Turkey after months of fighting that killed several thousand civilians.

Residents say that although there has been no flare-up of major hostilities, the calm is occasionally ruptured by Russian strikes on rebel outposts and frequent Iranian and Syrian-backed militias shelling towns and cities in the enclave where nearly four million civilians live.

Syria and Russia say they only target militant Islamists whom they say hold sway and deny any indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas or being behind the deliberate targeting of dozens of hospitals during last year’s campaign.

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