Published On: Wed, Feb 17th, 2016
Published in Category: International

Russia rejects Syria war crimes claim over hospital attacks

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Moscow: Russia on Tuesday says it “categorically rejects” accusations of war crimes over the bombing of hospitals in Syria.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “those who make such statements are not capable of backing them up with proof”.

Up to 50 people were killed in missile attacks on at least four hospitals and a school in rebel-held areas of northern Syria on Monday.

The UN said “intentionally directing attacks” at hospitals and medical units would constitute a war crime.

Monday’s strikes hit two hospitals – including one for mothers and babies – and a school sheltering internally displaced people in Azaz, near the border with Turkey, the UN said. Thirty-four people were killed and dozens wounded.

Two hospitals were also struck in Maarat al-Numan, further south in Idlib province, killing at least 12 people and wounding about 36.

One of the hospitals in Maarat al-Numan was supported by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). It was reportedly struck by four missiles in what MSF said was “direct targeting” over the course of 90 minutes.

Mego Terzian, president of MSF France, told the media “either the [Syrian] government or Russia” was responsible.

But Mr Peskov told the media that the only proof Russia would accept from the ground “comes from the Syrian authorities”. He said their evidence “shows the opposite”.

The Syrian ambassador to Moscow, Riad Haddad, previously said the US was to blame, a claim the Pentagon dismissed as “patently false”.document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript);