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Airstrikes target largest hospital in Aleppo, rebel-held territory in Syria

Barrel bombs struck on Saturday the Syrian city of Aleppo’s largest hospital, which is held by rebel forces, killing one man and wounding several more people, according to a group monitoring the war.

The Syrian Observatory on Human Rights, a British-based watchdog, said it was one of four hospitals targeted. Two more hospitals were also bombed on Wednesday along with dozens of other targets.

On Saturday, Russian airstrikes also hit areas controlled by rebel forces north of the city while Syrian government troops on the ground shelled Aleppo’s old quarter, Reuters reported.

“They are shelling the old city heavily after another failed attempt to gain ground,” one rebel fighter said. “They have lost several fighters and we are steadfast.”

Russia also cautioned the U.S. against counter-attacking Syrian government troops, stating such assaults would result in “terrible, tectonic consequences” across the Middle East, according to the Associated Press.

The escalation in fighting comes three weeks after a short-lived ceasefire was brokered by the U.S. and Russia and after more than five years of a bloody civil war in Syria.

The United Nations said on Friday that there are now less than 30 doctors operating in Aleppo and the World Health Organization noted that only eight hospitals are “partially functioning” in a city where more than 270,000 people live amid intense fighting.

“There has been a reduction in the number of health workers able to stay at their posts, and those who did are exhausted, drained physically and emotionally,” Dr. Rick Brennan of the WHO said.

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