Scores of medical facilities in Syria were hit in attacks last year and at least a dozen hospitals were completely destroyed, Doctors without Borders said in a report Wednesday. The report came two days after an MSF-supported hospital in Maraat al-Nouman was hit in an air strike that killed 30 people.
Formally known as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the charity noted that as the Syrian conflict reached its sixth year, the country’s health infrastructure "has been decimated" due to frequent aerial assaults and shelling of hospitals and clinics, in violation of international law.
At least a dozen hospitals were completely destroyed in the strife-torn Middle East country during 2015 while 81 medical staff was killed, MSF noted. The group, which does not have official permission to work in the country, lends indirect support to medical aid providers within Syria.
Five MSF staff members were reportedly among those killed in a series of raids carried out Monday on hospitals and schools in the Aleppo and Idlib provinces.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, the attack reportedly appeared to have been carried out by Russian warplanes participating in an aerial campaign in support of the Syrian government. Russia has refuted the allegations.
In its Wednesday report, MSF also condemned the so-called "double-tap" attacks — in which a second air strike follows the first one, increasing the chances of casualties among those responding to the initial incident.
In 2015, MSF recorded deaths of over 7,000 people at 70 of the facilities it supports in Syria, with more than 154,000 people wounded. Between 30 percent and 40 percent of those casualties were women and children, "indicating that civilian areas were consistently hit by aerial bombardments and other forms of attack," MSF said.