Russia “categorically rejects” allegations of war crimes over the bombing of four hospitals and two schools in Syria on Monday.

As many as 50 people, including at least 12 children, are believed to have died in the strikes in rebel-held areas of northern Syria.

Moscow refutes the claim that the missiles were launched by Russian military jets, and said that those making the accusations “are not capable of backing them up with proof”.

Independent medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), which ran on of the hospitals targeted destroyed in the attacks, said the strikes were “deliberate” and carried out by Russia or Syria.

Monitoring groups have blamed Russia for the attacks, and witnesses reported seeing Russian jets carry out missions in areas near to the destroyed hospitals on Monday.

However, Russia refuses to accept any evidence apart from that offered by the Syrian state, who they are supporting against rebels in the ongoing Syrian conflict.

Russia has accused Turkey for carrying out the strikes, and the Assad regime has accused the US – a claim Washington dismissed as “patently false”.

Under international law, militaries are banned from launching attacks on medical personnel, patients, and medical facilities. Contravening these laws could be considered a war crime.

The hospital attacks come after the international community, including Russia, agreed to work towards a cessation of hostilities in Syria.

Peace talks in Geneva between the Assad regime and various rebel groups have broken down, and in a televised interview on Monday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad joked that the discussions were meaningless.

Meanwhile, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have begun posturing about launching a ground assault within Syria, raising the possibility of the conflict escalating to a regional war involving Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the rebels on one side, the Syrian military, Iran, and Russia on another, and Islamic State on a third.

After nearly five years of fighting, more than 250,000 people have died in the Syria, with more than 11 million people displaced from their homes.

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