Missiles, barrel bombs destroy coroner’s office in latest hit on Aleppo’s medical infrastructure

Mohammed Kahil, director of the east Aleppo Coroner’s Office. Photo courtesy of the Aleppo Coroner’s Office.

AMMAN: Two barrel bombs destroyed a building housing a coroner’s office in an east Aleppo neighborhood on Thursday, the latest in a week of regime attacks on an ambulance station, a central hospital and multiple ad hoc medical clinics in rebel-held districts across Syria’s largest city.

Two allegedly Russian-fired missiles hit the coroner’s office serving rebel-controlled districts on Wednesday, critically injuring the province’s only cardiologist, sources told Syria Direct on Thursday. At least five other people were injured.

On Thursday, a Syrian helicopter hovered above the coroner’s office, dropping a barrel bomb that penetrated the roof and exploded inside. A second barrel bomb was dropped from the same helicopter just behind the building.

The coroner’s office and adjacent medical clinic in the same building “are totally destroyed,” the office director, Mohammed Kahil, told Syria Direct. Additional damage includes “our vehicles, the room housing corpses, the tanks holding water and electricity.”

 Two rockets hit the east Aleppo Coroner’s Office on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of the a-Sukri Council.

The repeated bombings forced the clinic and coroner’s office to close its doors.

“Once again, dust is in the air after a helicopter targeted the office with barrel bombs,” the coroner’s office announced in a Facebook statement on Thursday. 

The clinic and coroner’s office of east Aleppo’s a-Sukri neighborhood provided free treatment for all patients, in addition to post-mortem services for the dead and their families.

Noura Hourani

Noura Hourani is from Latakia province. She studied English Literature at Tishreen University and previously worked as a private English tutor in Syria. She has worked at Syria Direct since 2015 and was named the 2018 Middle East and North Africa Laureate for the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers' (WAN-IFRA) Women in News Editorial Leadership Award.

Lujain al-Zaiem

Originally from Damascus, Lujain was forced to discontinue her studies because of the conflict. She worked as a radio presenter with Melody Radio in Damascus before moving to Jordan in 2012. Her love of journalism was the motive to join the Syria Direct training program. She wants to use her skills to serve the Syrian cause.

Justin Schuster

Justin Schuster graduated from Yale University with a bachelor’s degree in Global Affairs and Modern Middle Eastern Studies. He was a 2015-2016 fellow at the Center for Arabic Study Abroad program (CASA I) in Amman, Jordan. Justin worked as a reporter and translator with Syria Direct before serving as the Managing Director.

Kristen Demilio

Kristen Gillespie Demilio has more than 10 years of experience reporting from the Middle East while based in Amman. She regularly contributed to news outlets including CBS News Radio, NPR, The Jerusalem Report and PBS and is a graduate of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism as well as the Institut Français des Etudes Arabes in Damascus.