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Syria healthcare has collapsed following attacks on hospitals, MSF says

Source: http://edition.cnn.com/2016/02/18/middleeast/msf-health-care-syria-collapse/index.html

U.S.: Russia 'put up or shut up' on Syria truce
U.S.: Russia ‘put up or shut up’ on Syria truce 01:15

Story highlights

  • Medical charity suspects Syrian government was behind an attack on a hospital it supports
  • The Pentagon says it has informed Russia about the location of U.S. special forces in Syria
  • The civil war is nearing five-year mark and millions of Syrians have been displaced

(CNN)Healthcare in Syria has collapsed because of attacks on hospitals in the country, the international organization Doctors Without Borders said after fresh deadly bombings of hospitals this week.

“Today in Syria, the abnormal is now normal,” the organization, known by its French initials, MSF, said in a tweet. “The unacceptable is accepted.”

Al-Assad: Ceasefire? Doubt it

On Monday, airstrikes in northern Syria hit two hospitals and a school, killing at least 25 people, according to reports.

“It can only be considered deliberate, probably carried out by Syrian-government-led coalition that is predominantly active in the region,” MSF said.

One of the hospitals hit was in Azaz in Aleppo province. Also struck in Azaz was a school housing displaced people.

‘The normalization of such attacks is intolerable’

The other hospital that was hit was about 60 miles (100 kilometers) away, in Maara al-Numan in Idlib province. Missiles struck that hospital four times in a matter of minutes, MSF said.

On Saturday, MSF blamed the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad for the strike on one of the hospitals.

“#Idlib: At 9:00 a.m airstrikes destroyed a hospital supported by MSF,” the charity tweeted. “At least 25 were killed, among them 9 medical staff &16 patients.”

And the organization quoted Joanne Liu, its president, has saying, “Attacks on civilians and hospitals must stop. The normalization of such attacks is intolerable.”

Meanwhile, fighting continued in Syria despite an agreement last week to pause hostilities by Friday. There were fresh reports Thursday of the Syrian government army continuing at least one offensive.

And the Pentagon said Thursday that it had asked Russia to avoid striking specific areas in Syria to ensure the safety of U.S. special operations forces on the ground.

The two powers were also engaged in ongoing discussions to ensure their fighter jets did not come into contact with each other in Syrian airspace, a Pentagon spokesman said Thursday.

READ: Saudi Arabia: If needed, remove Syria’s Assad by force

The Syrian Civil War has raged now for five years. At least a quarter of a million people are estimated to have died, and millions have fled the country, some to Turkey and others to the European Union.

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Over ariannelot

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