Strikes kill 35 in Syria hospitals
A “significant increase” of air strikes on Syrian hospitals
recently has killed at least 35 patients and medical staff and
wounded 72, Doctors Without Borders said Thursday.
The group said the escalating attacks began in late
September, though it did not identify who was behind them,
and that 12 hospitals had been hit in Idlib, Aleppo and Hama
provinces, including six supported by MSF.
Russia began an aerial campaign in support of Syria’s
government on September 30 and has been accused by
several other medical groups of hitting hospitals and field
clinics since then.
In total, MSF said, “six hospitals were forced to close… and
four ambulances destroyed.”
emergency, maternity, paediatric and primary health care
services remains severely disrupted.”
The statement said “tens of thousands of people have been
forced to flee their homes” as a result of the attacks.
“After more than four years of war, I remain flabbergasted
at how international humanitarian law can be so easily
flouted by all parties to this conflict,” said Sylvain Groulx,
MSF chief for Syria.
In addition to Russia’s air strikes, Syria’s air force and a
US-led coalition targeting the Islamic State group are also
carrying out raids in Syria.
In recent days two medical organisations have directly
accused Russia of strikes that have hit their medical
said an estimated nine Russian air strikes had hit hospitals
or field clinics in Syria, including several of its facilities.
Among them was a field clinic in the town of Sarmin in the
northwestern province of Idlib, which was hit on October 20,
killing 13 people, including a physiotherapist and a nurse,
according to SAMS.
And this week, the Union of Medical Care and Relief
Organisations NGO said three hospitals it supports had
been targeted in air strikes.
One of the facilities, in Latamneh in Hama province had
been targeted by Russian strikes on two occasions, killing
ten patients and injuring civilians and medical workers, the
confederation of medical organisations said.
More than 250,000 people have died in the Syrian war, now
in its fifth year.
More than seven million people have been displaced inside
the country and another 4.2 million have fled abroad in one
of the largest displacement crises of modern times.