No More Hospitals in East Aleppo After 'Catastrophic Day'

Airstrikes have left 250K residents with very little access to medical care
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2016 11:27 AM CST
No More Hospitals in East Aleppo After 'Catastrophic Day'
This photo provided by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets shows workers and Syrian citizens inspecting damage to buildings after airstrikes hit a neighborhood in Aleppo, Syria, on Saturday.   (Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP)

On Friday, airstrikes led by Russia and the Syrian government, ostensibly meant to target rebel-held areas in Aleppo, caused enough damage to force four hospitals in the city to close, the Guardian reports. And then the final blow: The Omar bin Abdul Aziz facility, the last remaining hospital in East Aleppo, was also put out of commission from the bombings, leaving up to 250,000 residents in dire straits. "This is a dark day for East Aleppo," an emergency coordinator for Doctors Without Borders (aka Medecins Sans Frontieres) says, with other rescue workers calling the attacks "catastrophic," per Sky News. "You can't imagine what it's like living in Aleppo right now," the city's last neurosurgeon told the New York Times on Friday. "It feels like we are living in hell."

"The Aleppo hospitals have been reopened so many times, underground or in new locations, but between the bombing and the siege I don't know if it will be possible to resurrect them this time," a war-zone-savvy surgeon who's been helping Aleppo's doctors tells the Guardian. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says at least 27 people were killed in the city just on Saturday (the White Helmets group says the total death toll is closer to 40), and there's now a new problem they have to deal with. "We have no more [body] bags," a rescue worker said in a White Helmets video, per Sky. The World Health Organization says limited medical care may be found in smaller clinics scattered around the city, per ABC News. (The Guardian hosts a CCTV video that shows the exact moment a children's hospital in Aleppo got bombed.)

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