Airstrike targeting jihadist kills five at maternity hospital

Airstrike targeting jihadist kills five at maternity hospital

A maternity hospital supported by Save the Children was bombed in an air raid in the Syrian city of Idlib yesterday (Friday), leaving at least five dead.

The strike hit outside the hospital, one of the biggest treating women and babies in the north-west of the war-torn country, killing several relatives of patients.

The final death toll was expected to rise, but doctors were “too busy treating the injured to count the dead,” a spokesman for the charity said.

As the largest maternity hospital in the area, the facility serves 1,300 women a month and delivers more than 300 babies.

The UK-based monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the hospital in the rebel-held town of Kafar Takharim was heavily damaged and left barely operational.

Quoting sources on the ground, it said a jihadist from Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra, who was going to visit his wife in the hospital, was killed in the raid. “It was him that was targeted. He went to visit his wife who had just given birth when the bombing happened,” the monitor said.

The Observatory did not specify if the raid was carried out by Syrian regime aircraft or warplanes of its Russian allies.

The US is also thought to have killed dozens of civilians in a fresh air strike yesterday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 28 people, including seven children, died in air strikes on the village of al-Ghandour in the countryside north of Manbij city.