Three doctors are among the dead after a hospital in Aleppo, Syria, was reduced to rubble in a bombing, which the U.S. says was carried out by the Syrian president attacking his own citizens.
One of the doctors killed was Dr. Muhammad Waseem Maaz, one of the most able physicians in the area and the last remaining pediatricians in the rebel-held part of the city.
Maaz can be seen on the video leaving the intensive care unit and heading to emergency ward to begin his night shift, conversing with a colleague, before an explosion rips through the building.
The U.S. State Department said Syria's air strike on the hospital in Aleppo was "reprehensible," and it called on Russia to use its influence to pressure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government to stop the attacks.
"Once again we call on the regime to cease these absolutely senseless attacks, which are of course violations of the cessation of hostilities," State Department spokesman John Kirby said.
The "catastrophic deterioration" in Aleppo has jeopardized the aid lifeline that supplies millions of Syrians, says Jan Egeland, chairman of the U.N. humanitarian task force. "I could not in any way express how high the stakes are for the next hours and days."
A State Department official said there were indications that the bombing of the hospital was conducted solely by the Syrian government.
The bombed hospital was supported by international medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres, known in the U.S. as Doctors Without Borders.
“This devastating attack has destroyed a vital hospital in Aleppo, and the main referral center for pediatric care in the area," said Muskilda Zancada, MSF head of mission, Syria. "Where is the outrage among those with the power and obligation to stop this carnage?”
Hossam Abu Ghayth, 29, a documentary film-maker living in the rebel-held area of Kalasa in Aleppo which was bombed on Thursday, said by WhatsApp: "There are still planes ... They're hitting everything, mosques, markets, residential buildings, field hospitals."
Dozens of people were under the rubble and the Civil Defense could not dig out the bodies because of the intensity of the bombardments, he said.
Tony Ishak, 26, a resident of the government-held area of Suleimaniya in Aleppo and a politics student, said via WhatsApp: "It's been really bad for around four days now, the situation is worse than bad. Shells are falling like rain everywhere. The hospitals are full."
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Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters