As many as 50 civilians were killed in airstrikes on seven schools and hospitals Monday in the Syrian provinces of Aleppo and Idlib, the United Nations said.

"Such attacks are a blatant violation of international laws," Farhan Haq, a spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, told reporters at a briefingMonday afternoon in New York.

Haq said children were among the dead in the missile strikes on at least five medical facilities and two schools in Aleppo and in Idlib.

The U.S. State Department blamed the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad and his Russian backers.

"That the Assad regime and its supporters would continue these attacks, without cause and without sufficient regard for international obligations to safeguard innocent lives, flies in the face of the unanimous calls" by the International Syria Support Group to protect civilians, State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.

That was a reference to an agreement reached last week in Munich, Germany, for nationwide "cessation of hostilities" in Syria and diplomatic talks aimed at ending the years-long conflict, which has intensified since the United Nations tried to revive peace talks. The talks were suspended this month.

The attacks "cast doubt on Russia's willingness and/or ability to help bring to a stop the continued brutality of the Assad regime against its own people," Kirby said.
IMAGE: Hospital attack in northern Syria

Moscow has said it is targeting "terrorist groups" and has dismissed suggestion it has killed civilians since it began its air campaign in support of Assad in September.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev told Time magazine in an interview Saturday that Moscow has no plans to stop its bombing campaign against rebel positions in Syria until its allies in Damascus can achieve peace on favorable terms.


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