End Syria hospital attacks, Russia told at UN

Russia on Thursday (July 18th) opposed a UN Security Council resolution calling for an end to attacks on health facilities in Syria's Idlib region, AFP reported.

The outcome led to a rare statement following the meeting by the UN's humanitarian chief, Mark Lowcock.

"The carnage must stop," he said.

Russian and Syrian regime aircraft have since late April ramped up deadly bombardment of the Idlib region in north-west Syria, despite a deal to avert a massive government assault.

Kuwait, Germany and Belgium asked for the hastily called closed-door session, the latest of many they have sought since May in response to worsening fighting in Syria's north-west.

The draft text expressed "grave concern regarding the recent attacks on hospitals and other health facilities", including a July 10th attack on Maarat National Hospital.

The hospital is one of the largest in the area, and its co-ordinates had been shared through the UN "deconfliction mechanism" that aims to spare civilian targets.

Russia again denied bombing such facilities.

Lowcock said after the meeting that since July 1st, "at least six health facilities, five schools, three water stations, two bakeries and one ambulance have been damaged or destroyed".

"Entire villages have been destroyed and emptied" because of airstrikes, he said.

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