Exclusive footage shows airstrike hitting Aleppo hospital


BEIRUT (AP) — Footage obtained by The Associated Press shows the moment a children’s hospital in northern Syria was hit by an airstrike.

The exclusive CCTV video shows the interior and exterior of the pediatric facility in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, as it was hit by the bomb on Friday.

The Syrian government has stepped up its bombardment of besieged eastern Aleppo — an onslaught that began last week when Syria’s ally Russia announced its own offensive on opposition-controlled parts of the country. Since then, more than 100 people have been killed across northern Syria.

On Friday alone, airstrikes hit four hospitals in east Aleppo, effectively rendering all hospitals in the enclave of 275,000 people out of service, according to the opposition’s Aleppo Health Directorate and the World Health Organization.

The dramatic footage shows what appears to be a waiting room at the hospital as people milled about, including nurses in blue uniforms. The airstrike then hits, turning the room into a swirl of gray dust.

Another CCTV camera shows what appears to be the street outside the hospital before the attack. A man is seen walking on the street. A second later, there is a huge explosion and an orange fireball.

The footage was provided by the Independent Doctors Association (IDA), a Turkey-based NGO founded by Syrian doctors supporting a number of medical facilities in Aleppo.

The head of the pediatric hospital, who identifies himself only by his first name of Hatem, said the waiting room that appears in the video was underground.

“Thank God, the basement is what protected us against any of our staff or patients getting injured,” he told AP in a series of text messages. “We can’t go deeper than this. Currently we have suspended operations as we search for an alternative location for the hospital.”

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