Syrian forces advance on country’s last rebel-held province


Tens of thousands of people have fled a Syrian government assault on Idlib, the country’s last rebel-held province, prompting warnings of a humanitarian catastrophe.

The regime advance comes amid what a senior aid worker described as a “systematic” attack on hospitals in the region. Eight have been hit between the end of December and the beginning of January. One such attack in the town of Maarat al-Numan on 3 January killed a baby girl who was just two hours old and her father. Two nurses and a doctor were wounded. “The major goals are to deprive people of healthcare, kill opposition medical workers and push people to flee,” said Ahmad al-Dbis, safety and security director for the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organisations (UOSSM), which runs dozens of hospitals in Syria. “The medical situation is a tragedy.”(theguardian)…[+]