Syria’s Aleppo is Left Without a Single Hospital Operating After Heavy Airstrikes

aleppo-without-hospitals

Days of heavy airstrikes have left Syria’s rebel-held eastern Aleppo without a single hospital operating at full capacity, the Syrian American Medical Society told CNN on Saturday.

The sobering news, following a week of intense airstrikes, came the same day that more than 60 civilians were killed in eastern Aleppo, according to a volunteer search and rescue organization.

A number of major trauma hospitals were knocked out of service during recent attacks, according to the medical society.

However, activists working in the city said up to five other hospitals in eastern neighborhoods are still functioning.

“For the first time, eastern Aleppo is out of hospitals operating at full capacity,” said Dr. Mazen Kewara, director of the medical society’s Turkey office. “There are remaining medical facilities, but they are not operating at full capacity.”

One of those hit was a children’s hospital, forcing staff to evacuate babies to safety.

Hospitals are desperately needed as an estimated 250,000 people remain trapped while the Syrian regime bombards the city’s rebel-held east, which faces dwindling reserves of food, fuel and medical supplies.

On Saturday, at least 61 civilians were killed by the bombardment of eastern Aleppo, according to the Syrian Civil Defense, a volunteer group also known as the White Helmets. The barrage included 250 airstrikes and more than 2,000 artillery rounds.

Powerful video footage that the activist group Aleppo Media Center posted online showed what it said was the immediate aftermath of a bombing at eastern Aleppo’s M2 hospital on Friday evening.

A man covered with dust and blood is carried past a body toward a stairwell filled with rubble and splintered wood. Another bandaged, dust-covered patient follows holding what looks like his own IV drip. Patients confined to bed are given face masks to cope with the dust.

A man who appears to be a doctor tells the cameraman, “Everyone in the hospital got injured, even already injured patients have been injured again, God help us.”

Another man who seems to be a doctor says the hospital was bombarded, and there has been a direct hit on the intensive care unit, which he says was full of patients, “(especially) those who were transferred from hospitals that have been struck today morning and yesterday evening.”

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SOURCE: CNN, Laura Smith-Spark, Eyad Kourdi and Kareem Khadder