Texas- In the past 72 hours there has been a surge in airstrikes, barrel bomb attacks and artillery strikes in Idlib and Hama, Syria. At least 77 civilians have been killed and over 150,000 IDPs displaced in the past seven days. Most cities in Northern Hama are almost completely evacuated. The areas are already over populated and lack in camps and housing for the newly displaced, leaving large numbers with no shelter, exposed to the elements.
Five medical facilities and five schools were also bombed and put out of service this week. Many hospitals and schools have suspended operations. There are over 3.5 million people in Northwestern Syria including 350,000 people living in refugee camps. The region already suffers from severe shortages in healthcare, food and sanitation and cannot withstand further destabilization. Yesterday, a Syrian Civil Defense Worker (White Helmet) was killed as he was rescuing people in an attack.
The five medical facilities that were targeted and put out of service include: Al Latamna Hospital, Qalaat Al-Madiq Hospital, Al Habeet Primary Health Care Center, Qastoon Primary Health Care Center, and the Surgical Unit in Kafr Naboodha. No casualties were reported from these attacks and one nurse was injured in the Kafr Naboodha attack. The former administration officer of Sham Hospital, a prominent actor in the Hama Health Directorate, and current accountant at the Al-Madiq Hospital, was killed as he was directly targeted in his car at Al Madiq hospital.
In the strongest terms, UOSSM urges all parties to the conflict to find a peaceful resolution. UOSSM urges the UN Security Council and the international community to implement UNSC resolution 2286 for the protection of medical facilities and aid workers. We urge the international community to release emergency humanitarian funding for medical aid, shelter, food, water and sanitation.
Dr. Khaula Sawah, Vice President of UOSSM USA said, “The intensity of the recent bombardment is deeply concerning. If these attacks are allowed to continue it is clear that many of the 3.5 million people will become refugees and countless civilians will be slaughtered. They have nowhere to turn and hundreds of thousands of lives are at stake. The world must act now and not continue to turn a blind eye to the atrocities.”