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Air strikes damage Syria's 'Cave Hospital'

One of Syria's most secure hospitals has been damaged and put out of action by air strikes over the weekend, a relief group and Syrian opposition monitors have said.

The Dr Hasan Al-Araj hospital - also known as the Cave Hospital because it was dug into a mountain - was struck twice on Sunday, t he International Union of Medical Care and Relief Organisations, or UOSSM, said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Monday that Russian warplanes carried out the attacks that hit the hospital near the central village of Kfar Zeita, in central Hama province, adding that it is one of the largest hospitals in rebel-held areas of the country.

UOSSM said there were minor injuries.

Syrian and Russian warplanes have been blamed for a series of attacks that have damaged hospitals and clinics in rebel-held parts of Syria, mostly in the northern city Aleppo.

Meanwhile, Turkish military officials said 15 Syrian opposition fighters have been killed in an ongoing battle with Islamic State militants in northern Syria.

The officials also said that about 35 Syrian rebels were injured in the fighting, which is seeking to capture seven residential districts south of the town of al-Rai.

According to a statement on Monday, "intense" clashes had taken place in the regions of Boztepe, Hardanah and Turkmen Bari.

The statement said the casualties happened over the last 24 hours.

Turkey sent troops and tanks into Syria in August to help Syrian rebels re-take IS strongholds near the border and curb the advance of Syrian Kurdish militia, which Ankara accuses of links with Turkey's outlawed Kurdish rebels.



From Belfast Telegraph