UN "deeply disturbed" at recent attacks in Syria

Five hospitals and a blood bank have been hit by airstrikes

UN "deeply disturbed" at recent attacks in Syria

This 2012 file photo shows smoke billowing skyward as homes and buildings are shelled in the city of Homs, Syria | Image: UN Photo/David Manyua

The United Nations says it is "deeply disturbed" at reports of recent attacks in several areas of Syria.

Five hospitals and a blood bank have been hit by airstrikes in recent days, as well as reports of the possible use of chlorine gas in rebel-held Idlib province.

The UN has reiterated its call on all parties to the conflict to end the destruction of medical facilities and other civilian infrastructure.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned that many of these facilities that had provided life-saving healthcare to people are no longer functioning.

According to updates from OCHA, three hospitals in Andan town, Hor village and Haritan sub-district in Aleppo governorate were reportedly damaged by airstrikes on July 30th and 31st.

Jasim hospital in Dara'a was reportedly also hit on July 31st and a maternity hospital in Idleb was also struck on July 30th.

The UN says a blood bank in Atareb was also hit on July 31st.

Dozens of casualties and injuries resulting from these strikes have been reported - including to pregnant women and children.

The UN statement makes no reference to the reported chlorine gas attacks.

Water and electricity supply

The OCHA also reported that attacks on civilian infrastructure damaged Aleppo's electricity and water distribution infrastructure.

"This has resulted in an electricity blackout throughout the city and has left residents throughout Aleppo with no access to water through the public water network, although some water is still available through wells and tanks," it says.

An aerial bombardment on Saraqab city in Idleb reportedly struck a university, resulting in partial damages to infrastructure, and shelling on Aleppo University injured about 11 students.

"The UN continues to call on all parties to the conflict to end the destruction of hospitals and other civilian infrastructure that is essential for the civilian population, and to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law and the international human rights law," the OCHA said.

The UN children's fund UNICEF also called for the protection of all children in Aleppo.

The agency says it is "extremely concerned" for the safety and well-being of all children caught up in the escalating violence.

Heavy fighting in densely populated areas in the west of the city has forced the displacement of 25,000 people.

It says families are sheltering in mosques, university campuses and public gardens.

Moreover, in the east of the city, 300,000 people - one-third of them children - have been trapped since early July.