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Daily Israel Report

Rebels Conquer Key Hospital Base in Battle for Aleppo

Syrian army post bombed, captured by rebels in fierce Aleppo fighting. Wounded untreated as hospitals become bases.
By Dalit Halevi, Ari Yashar
First Publish: 12/23/2013, 9:40 AM

Captured bombed-out Aleppo hospital
Captured bombed-out Aleppo hospital
Screenshot

The Syrian rebel forces this week succeeding in capturing the Aleppo Medical Center hospital, amid fierce fighting for Aleppo which is under divided control. Army airstrikes in the city killed over 189 people last week, according to Doctors Without Borders.

In the last few days, Islamist rebel forces employed a suicide bombing method already honed in the conflict, driving two trucks filled with explosives into the hospital one after the other.

Massive sections of the hospital were destroyed, leaving numerous Syrian soldiers who were using the hospital as a military post dead or injured. Consequently rebels were able to completely conquer the area.

Video from the captured hospital, uploaded by Aleppo Media Center (AMC), an activist network on the ground, can be seen in the video below:

The Syrian army had been using the hospital as a military post due to its strategic importance sitting on the city's high ground. The positioning now gives the rebels an advantage in observing and firing on the Aleppo prison that they intend to capture.

Many civilian institutions have been destroyed by both sides in the war, and numerous cities have been reduced to rubble. Religious sites have not been untouched by the internecine violence either, as mosques are used as military bases and targets for attack as well.

Particularly, the destruction of hospitals is of great concern, given International Red Cross reports Sunday showing 500,000 Syrians have been injured in the fighting.

A UN resolution condemning Syria for the Aleppo offensive was shot down by Russia last Thursday. Russia recently argued again that Syrian President Bashar Assad is a "better option" that the rebels.

The Syrian conflict is now in its third year, having left over 100,000 dead and created over 2 million refugees. Geneva II peace talks seeking to resolve the conflict will start January 22.