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Strikes destroy seven hospitals in Syria's Idlib: medics

© AFP/File | The damage following an air strike on a hospital in the village of Deir Sharqi on the eastern outskirts of Maaret al-Numan in Syria's northern province of Idlib, on April 27, 2017

IDLIB (SYRIA) (AFP) - 

Seven hospitals and clinics in northwestern Syria have been knocked out of action this month in air strikes by the regime or its ally Russia, medical sources said on Sunday.

"In April, hospitals in the south of the province of Idlib were systematically targeted," Abdel Hamid Dabbak, who is in charge of hospitals in the rebel-controlled province, told a news conference.

He named seven hospitals which he said were put out of service by air raids, including a gynaecological clinic.

Dabbak said work to reopen the health centres was under way, "but warplanes are still overhead and bombardments continue".

Monzer Khalil, a doctor who heads a rebel health administration, said the situation was taking its toll of civilians.

"The situation is worsening the suffering of the population... and there are especially problems for babies because we are running out of incubators," he said.

Khalil said three other hospitals were also bombed and put out of service in the adjacent central province of Hama.

Idlib is controlled by a rebel alliance that includes a former Al-Qaeda affiliate, and is regularly targeted by both the Syrian government and Russian warplanes.

An AFP correspondent in Idlib saw massive damage at several hospitals, where equipment had been destroyed and wards were strewn with rubble.

According to the World Health Organization, Syria is the most dangerous country for medical staff.

Hundreds of medical facilities have been destroyed in the country's six-year war, which has also claimed the lives of more than 320,000 people.

© 2017 AFP