Russian field hospital hit in Syria’s Aleppo, nurse killed
ALEPPO – The Associated PressRebel shelling of the Syrian government-held part of Aleppo killed a Russian nurse in a makeshift Russian hospital in the city on Dec. 5, while the Defense Ministry in Moscow said a Russian fighter jet crashed into the Mediterranean Sea after returning from a sortie over Syria.
The developments were a blow to Russia, which has been one of the staunchest supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his country’s bitter civil war, now in its sixth year.
The shelling that killed the female nurse also wounded two Russian doctors working in the field hospital, a Russian officer in Aleppo told reporters. He spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. The hospital equipment was part of aid that Moscow had sent into the Furqan neighborhood in the government section of the city the previous day.
In Moscow, Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov confirmed the death of one Russian medic in Aleppo and said two were seriously wounded in an artillery attack that hit the Russian military hospital. He said an unspecified number of local residents who were at the hospital were also wounded and accused the United States, Britain and France of tipping off the rebels about the hospital’s location.
“The blood of our soldiers is on the hands of those who ordered this murder. Those who created, nurtured and armed these beasts in human form and named them the ‘opposition’,” Konashenkov said.
Separately, the Defense Ministry said a Russian Su-33 fighter jet, based on the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, crashed into the Mediterranean Sea after returning from a sortie over Syria. The ministry said that “because of the failure of the arrester system’s cable, the Su-33 fighter rolled off the deck” on Dec. 5.
The pilot successfully ejected and was unharmed, the ministry said, adding that Russian military operations over Syria would not be affected by the incident.
This is the second loss of an aircraft from Russia’s only aircraft carrier since it arrived off Syria last month. A MiG-29 crashed into the sea on Nov. 15 while attempting to land on the Admiral Kuznetsov.
In Aleppo, Syria’s army and allied forces seized a new neighborhood - Qadi Askar - from rebels in east Aleppo overnight, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Dec. 5, and now hold around two-thirds of the former rebel bastion.
Suspected Russian air strikes have killed at least 46 people in opposition-held parts of Syria, the Observatory said, as the U.N. Security Council prepared to vote on a resolution demanding a temporary truce in Aleppo.