Internal and external footage captures moment of strike on Syrian hospital
Aleppo's last remaining pediatrician is seen on camera, dies moments later
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry calls hospital strike an "unconscionable act"
Security footage obtained by Britain’s Channel 4 shows a pediatric hospital in Aleppo in the moments before – and after – a missile from a fighter jet hit the facility last week.
The Al Quds field hospital was struck Wednesday night in a rebel-held neighborhood in Aleppo. In the footage, a thump occurs as a bomb explodes nearby. The explosion is unheard on the silent tape, but the hospital staff reacts. Some rush downstairs, anticipating casualties.
The footage shows a doctor, Mohammed Maaz, reportedly the last remaining pediatrician in Aleppo, leaving the intensive care unit and walking the corridors of the ill-fated hospital.
He disappears. Minutes later, the hospital is hit. After the chaos of the explosion, there are stark, ghostly images of survivors evacuating the building – a nurse carrying a young child from the maternity ward, civilians performing first aid.
Maaz does not reappear; he was among at least 50 people to die, including patients, visitors and staff, according to Pablo Marco, operations manager for Doctors Without Borders in the Middle East.
Kerry: Cessation of hostilities put to the test
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry condemned the attack, telling reporters Monday in Geneva, Switzerland, that it was an “unconscionable act” for which he indicated he held the Syrian regime responsible.
Kerry, in Geneva for talks with other world leaders in an attempt to save the crumbling Syrian peace process, said it was incumbent on Russia and Iran to make sure the Syrian government lived up to its part in agreeing to a cessation of hostilities.
Speaking after a meeting with the U.N. special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, Kerry said the cessation of hostilities had been put to the test in the last few weeks.
“It has frayed in certain areas and fallen completely in a few areas,” he said.
He was working with Russia to restore the truce in those areas where it had been most at risk, with both countries boosting personnel in Geneva to monitor and help implement the cessation, he said.
“We are hopeful, but we are not there yet,” he said.
De Mistura told reporters in Geneva last week that a humanitarian disaster is unfolding as the ceasefire looks increasingly tenuous and as violence increases in Aleppo and three other locations.
Since Wednesday’s strike on Al Quds hospital, three other medical facilities, including two hospitals in Aleppo, have been hit, Channel 4 reports. The United Nations warns the situation in Aleppo is “catastrophic” as fighting has intensified in recent days.
Last year, a U.S. airstrike hit a Doctors Without Borders hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz, killing 42 people, the charity said. The Pentagon said last month that the bombing was not a “war crime.”
Earlier this year a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Yemen was also hit by a “projectile.” Five people were killed and 10 others were injured. The origin of the attack could not be confirmed at the time.
CNN’s Tim Hume and Andrew Carey contributed to this report.