The Systematic Targeting of Personnel and Health Facilities in Syria

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IMG-20170502-WA0001Despite all calls to stop the attacks on civilian facilities, the humanitarian situation in Syria is deteriorating rapidly. The systematic killing of medical staff, children and civilians must stop now.

This month, April 2017, revealed catastrophic action against the health sector, which is in fact part of a continued systematic targeting against health facilities and personnel for the last six years.

On 27th April 2017, at 05:30am local time, Syrian and Russian fighter jets fired missiles targeting a surgical hospital, killing three people and wounding several others. The hospital was heavily damaged and was put out of service.

On the same day, another attack targeting an ambulance and during an evacuation from medical point in Ma’ar Zeta, resulted in destroying the facility and killing two paramedics. During the response to the attack, another ambulance system assisting in the evacuation and the point were attacked, again killing an additional two paramedics. Eight ambulances in total were destroyed and 14 people, including medical staff were killed in this incident in Idleb.

It seems that the systematic attacks on the health facilities has no end, but it is apparent that it is increasing despite requests by the International community and humanitarian actors to terminate the targeting and provide protection to personnel and health facilities.

During the month of April 2017, and according to various reports eleven health facilities were attacked by the Syrian regime and Russian airstrikes destroying eight main ones in Idleb, thus resulting in high numbers of injuries and deaths of staff and patients. Paralyzing the medical infrastructure and leaving thousands without access to medical care.

The humanitarian sector in non-regime controlled areas is under extreme pressure due to the regular attacks on civil facilities, where NGOs are building and attacks are destroying within minutes. Adding to that, the lack of financial resources in comparison to the vast needs, and the departure of physicians and nurses, which the International community has failed to protect.

We, the humanitarian organizations working in demand the United Nations take immediate action to protect medical facilities and civilians. Furthermore, we call for the immediate investigation and prosecution for war crimes and atrocities committed against civilians and medical staff.

Signatories:

  • Al Sham Humanitarian Foundation, (AHF)
  • Binaa Organization for Development
  • Ghiras Al Nahda
  • Hand in Hand for Syria, (HIHS)
  • MASRRAT
  • Orient
  • Syria for Relief & Development, (SRD)
  • Syrian American Medical Socity, (SAMS)
  • Syrian Expatriate Medical Association, (SEMA)
  • Takaful Alsham Organization