At least five people have been killed and more than a dozen others wounded in a terrorist rocket attack on a hospital in Syria’s western-central province of Hama, state media report.
Syria’s official news agency SANA reported that rockets landed on the entrance of the Masyaf National Hospital and on some surrounding residential buildings in Masyaf City on Sunday morning.
Of the five people killed in the attack, two were nurses working at the hospital, the report further said, adding that at least 15 other civilians — four of them also hospital staff — sustained injuries, some of them critically.
“This was not the first time terrorist groups launch rockets at the hospital. However, it was the most criminal attack yet,” SANA quoted the director of the hospital, Dr. Maher Younis, as saying.
Other reports said terrorists from the Takfiri Hayat Tahrir al-Sham launched the attack.
SANA added that Syrian government troops, supported by the Russian air cover, launched a heavy retaliatory missile and artillery attack targeting the areas where the rockets were believed to have been fired from.
Masyaf is situated some 25 kilometers south of the demilitarized zone around militant-held Idlib. Furthermore, several key roads, which link Syria’s Mediterranean coast with the country’s central regions, pass by the city.
Russia, which has been assisting Syria in its fight against terrorist groups since September 2015, maintains an air defense base in the vicinity of Masyaf, where an S-400 air defense missile system is reportedly deployed.
Foreign-backed militancy, supported by the United States and many of its Western and regional allies, erupted in Syria in 2011.The militants and Takfiri terrorists overran large swathes of Syria’s territory before government forces retook almost all of them with help from its allies.