People carry an injured boy after Russian forces staged air-strike over Aleppo’s opposition controlled Sukkeri region, Syria. Photo from April, 2016. (Getty Images)
BEIRUT — Intensive bombings pummeled Syria’s rebel-held eastern neighborhoods of the city of Aleppo on Friday, residents and rescuers said, hitting an area housing several hospitals and sending the chief of a pediatrics clinic in a frantic search for a place to move his young patients.Earlier Friday, airstrikes on a village in the rural Aleppo province killed seven members of the same family, including four children, opposition activists said.
The attacks mark the fourth day of renewed assault by Syrian government warplanes on eastern Aleppo districts, a rebel-held enclave of 275,000 people. The onslaught began with a Russian announcement of its own offensive on the northern rebel-controlled Idlib province and the central Homs province.
So far, more than 100 people have been killed across northern Syria since Tuesday.
A physician who identified himself as Dr. Hatem, the head of the only pediatric hospital remaining in besieged rebel-held part of Aleppo, said his facility has been targeted once more on Friday, causing damages to its exterior. The hospital was also hit during a wave of airstrikes on the complex housing four hospitals on Wednesday.
“Now it is being bombed … I am sorry … I have to go to transfer the children” to a safe area, he said in a text message. He uses his first name fearing for his family’s safety.
Another Aleppo hospital in a different neighborhood also came under intense bombing late Thursday, he said, though no one was wounded.
Many hospitals and clinics in the besieged area have moved their operations underground after months of relentless bombings and airstrikes.
The city of Aleppo, once Syria’s commercial hub, has been divided since 2012, with the eastern half in rebel hands and the western half controlled by government forces.
Ibrahim al-Haj, a member of the Syria Civil Defense rescuers in Aleppo said the city “is a mess.” The group of rescuers and first responders said they were struggling to put out fires set off by the bombings in at least 10 different areas of eastern Aleppo.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the strike that killed the seven from one family took place in southwestern Aleppo. Syrian Civil Defense posted photographs online showing children’s bodies covered with dust and blood.