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Distressing development

In yet another distressing development, airstrikes destroyed the last operating hospital in eastern Aleppo, leaving more than 250,000 residents without access to medical care in the war-torn city. Reports indicate that these air strikes follow the destruction of four hospitals on Friday. 

According to a UN-led consortium of aid agencies, all hospitals in eastern Aleppo are out of service. Hospitals in the city’s eastern section have suffered 30 attacks since July, preventing the flow of urgent supplies to the volatile area. These are war crimes and should be condemned as such. Doctors and residents inside the war-torn city said there were no more than two weeks’ supplies of essential food and medicines left. Schools, roads and homes have also been attacked as government forces attempt to drive rebel groups out of the city. 

Washington has condemned the targeting of hospitals and urged Russia, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, to contain the violence. Fighting between forces loyal to Assad and rebel groups intensified after a ceasefire deal broke down in September when an aid convoy was bombed in Aleppo. The brutality of the Assad government, with the support of Russia and Iran-backed militias, for its indiscriminate attack on civilian areas, has been well documented. 

Lest we forget, the Americans have also perpetrated similar war crimes, aided and abetted by rebel fighters loyal to violent Islamic militant groups. Fighting between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and rebel groups intensified after a September 9 ceasefire broke down when an aid convoy was bombed in Aleppo. 

The international community has utterly failed to establish a modicum of stability in the country. Washington, Moscow and the larger international community continue to twiddle their thumbs, while millions suffer from crippling conditions. They need to get their act together soon. 

Recent estimates indicate that more than 13 million people require humanitarian assistance. Since the start of this brutal and complex civil war, approximately six million people have been forced to flee their homes. Many Syrians have little access to basic needs, living with the daily threat of brutal violence. 
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