Maternity Hospital bombed in Syria

A maternity hospital in north-western Syria has been bombed, causing casualties among patients and staff, a UK charity says.

Save the Children said the bomb, from an air strike, hit the entrance to the hospital in rural Idlib province.

Images show part of the building destroyed. The number of casualties is not yet clear.

The charity says the hospital is the biggest in the area, carrying out more than 300 deliveries a month.

It is not clear who carried out the air strike.

Meanwhile, the UN’s envoy to Syria has appealed to Russia to let the UN manage safe corridors from besieged areas of the city of Aleppo.

Staffan de Mistura said the UN supported such corridors in principle and was asking Russia for more details on how they would work
About 300,000 people are trapped in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, under intense bombardment.

In another development, activists say US-led coalition air strikes have killed 28 civilians in a northern Syrian village.

The US confirmed air strikes took place near the town of Manbij on Thursday andsaid it was investigating claims of civilian casualties.

Russia, a key ally of the Syrian government, said on Thursday that three humanitarian corridors from Aleppo were being opened for civilians and unarmed rebels and a fourth for armed rebels.

The move was welcomed cautiously by the UN, the US and some aid agencies.

“Our suggestion to Russia is to actually leave the corridors being established at their initiative to us,” Mr de Mistura told reporters in Geneva.

“The UN and humanitarian partners know what to do.”

He echoed calls from the UN’s Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Stephen O’Brien, for a 48-hour truce to allow aid into the east of the city.

“How can you expect people to want to walk through a corridor, thousands of them, while there is shelling, bombing fighting,” Mr de Mistura asked.

He said the UN was “in principle and in practice in favour of humanitarian corridors under the right circumstances” but said Russia needed to provide more information on how the system would work.

He reiterated that civilians who left should do so only through their own choice.

“The clock is ticking for the Aleppo population,” he warned.

The UN said on Monday that food supplies in Aleppo were expected to run out in mid-August and many medical facilities continued to be attacked.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has said the three corridors for civilians and unarmed fighters would have medical posts and food handouts.

The fourth corridor, in the direction of Castello Road, would be for armed militants, he said.

The Red Cross said on Thursday it welcomed any respite for civilians in Aleppo but that departures must be voluntary and the safety of those who decided to stay must be guaranteed.

The US State Department also expressed caution, saying that the exercise appeared to be an attempt to force the evacuation of civilians and the surrender of militant groups in the city.

UK-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday that seven children were among the 28 killed in the coalition air strike on al-Ghandour village near Manbij.

Manbij is controlled by the so-called Islamic State group but encircled by Kurdish-led forces who are advancing with the support of coalition air strikes.



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