The UN says that 50 people were killed in attacks on at least three medical facilities including a children's hospital in northern Syria on Monday, with one medical charity saying it appeared they had been deliberately attacked by Russian or government jets.
Fears of an escalation of the five year civil war were further sparked as Syrian government forces and Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters reportedly took Tel Rifaat on Monday night, a key town enroute to the city of Azaz where air strikes fell on Monday.
As Turkey shelled Syrian targets across its border for the third day in a row, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Monday his country would not allow Azaz to fall to Kurdish fighters. Meanwhile, Russia's defense ministry said Turkey's shelling was "open support to international terrorism" reports.
Syrian government forces reportedly told Al Jazeera late on Monday that they planned to continue their march to Azaz, a flashpoint town in Aleppo province near the Turkish border, where it would appear a major escalation in fighting could occur.
Rescuers wearing hard hats searched through rubble for survivors in northern Syria Monday after airstrikes hit two hospitals and a school building.
The attacks killed at least 22 people, according to reports.
Eight others are missing and presumed dead,
reports www.middleeasteye.net. Amnesty International said the hospital attacks amounted to war crimes.
Critics of the Syrian government warned that the latest violence is yet another troubling sign that a planned "cessation of hostilities" in the war-ravaged country is far from taking hold.
Fifteen people were killed when a hospital and a school building that was housing displaced people were struck in Azaz, in Syria's Aleppo province, according to a hospital worker on the scene.
Up to 40 other people were wounded.
Staff members were evacuating the wounded after the first strike on the Women and Children's Hospital when the complex and a road leading to the Turkish border were struck again, a hospital employee known as Moudhar told CNN.
Women and children were among the dead, he said.
Another projectile hit the nearby school building, he said.
In a separate attack about 100 km (62 miles away), another horrifying scene played out at a hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders at Maarat al-Numan in Syria's Idlib province. Missiles struck the hospital four times within minutes, the medical humanitarian organization said.
Images from the scene showed the hospital reduced to mostly twisted metal and other rubble.
At least seven people were killed and eight others were missing and presumed dead, the organization said.
The dead consisted of five patients, a caretaker and a hospital guard, while eight staff members were missing.
Patients were also unaccounted for, the statement said, but it's not clear how many.
"The situation is desperate," said Massimiliano Rebaudengo, Doctors Without Borders' head of mission.
"This appears to be a deliberate attack on a health structure, and we condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms," Rebaudengo said
"The destruction of the hospital leaves the local population of around 40,000 people without access to medical services in an active zone of conflict," he said.