More than 300 killed in eastern Aleppo in week's worth of bombings
Rescuers claim that hospitals have been the primary target
Doctor tells of horrific conditions in a medical center
In every corridor, every corner of the Omar Hospital in Aleppo, there are scenes of horror.
Decapitated bodies on the hospital’s floor, children with bloodied faces, screaming mothers searching for their families under the rubble – these were some of images that one medic described to CNN after a hospital in eastern Aleppo was attacked Saturday.
“Whatever I say I will not be able to describe the horror I am seeing,” Aref al-Aref, who filmed the aftermath of the shelling, said.
On Sunday, Syrian regime forces pounded the rebel-held areas in and around the city of Aleppo with airstrikes and artillery shelling, according to Syria Civil Defense, killing 32 people and bringing the total death toll in a week-long bombardment campaign to over 300.
Rescuers claim that hospitals in eastern Aleppo have been the primary target of the bombardment, which they describe as the most intense since the war began five years ago.
As of Sunday evening, one hospital was functional in eastern Aleppo, scrambling with the influx of hundreds of injured, activists told CNN. They did not reveal its name or location over fears that it would be hit.
“People were in need of surgeries but there are no rooms to operate in,” Al-Aref told CNN.
“A lot of people in need of hospitalization are having to stay at home because there is no space.”
Aleppo Media Center activists said that hospitals were running out of medicine and the civil defense was short of body bags and shrouds to wrap the corpses in.
The shelling began last Tuesday after a three-week lull.
‘They are bombing our medical center’
Speaking to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, a doctor in Aleppo told of the terrible conditions for the injured, and of the continued bombing attacks in the east of the city.
Dr Farida, who declined to give her last name to protect family living under government control, said the situation in eastern Aleppo was “like a horror movie.”
“You can’t imagine a woman who is waiting, a beautiful baby is waiting, a beautiful thing, you come to the hospital and go out with injuries… and there is no incubator, there is no oxygen, no medical cast to help her. This is the situation,” she said.
Believed to be the last female obstetrician-gynecologist working in the rebel-held east, Farida wore a full vest and a surgical mask for her interview with CNN to conceal her identity.
The constant bombardment of medical facilities means she is currently trying to find “another basement or another underground place to work” and delivering babies in apocalyptic conditions at a “medical center” where she says the maternal mortality ratio is sky-high.
“Sometimes the baby is injured inside the uterus. One day I delivered… the baby had injuries in his eyes,” Farida said.
“I’m so afraid. It’s my home city. I’m so afraid that the fighters will surrender Aleppo to the regime,” she said, adding that if the heavy bombing continued, that in one or two months “we’ll never see any human being living in Aleppo, we all will die.”
Then suddenly, she interrupted the interview and asked: “Can you hear this? They are bombing now, our medical center.”
War crime warning
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the assault and “indiscriminate shelling” for killing and maiming scores of civilians, including children, and for leaving eastern Aleppo without functioning hospitals.
“The secretary-general reminds all parties to the conflict that targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure is a war crime,” the statement said.
“Those responsible for these and other atrocities in Syria, whoever and wherever they are, must one day be brought to account.”