Three hospitals were shut down yesterday in Northern Syria after sustaining damage by air strikes.
A Doctors without Borders (MSF) supported facility in Idlib province was hit four times in a series of attacks on February 15. The hospital was completely destroyed. At least eleven people were killed, five of whom were medical staff and five were patients. That number is expected to rise as bodies are still being recovered.
The National Hospital in Ma’arat al-Nouman was also hit and partially damaged. The Azaz Maternity and Children’s Hospital in Aleppo was partially damaged by another strike. This is the second time the hospital was hit since December. Casualties have been reported from both hospitals.
In the past few months, the number of attacks on hospitals has dramatically increased. According to the United Nations, an average of one hospital is hit every two days. Dr. Khaula Sawah, CEO of UOSSM USA strongly condemns the targeting of medical facilities saying, “The constant bombardment of hospitals and medical facilities is unacceptable and a violation of international law. UOSSM demands an immediate end to the targeting of hospitals in order for civilians to have access to medical care. “
These come in the latest string of attacks on hospitals. Over seven hospitals and medical facilities
have been bombed and shut down in the past few weeks, including a hospital in the Aleppo suburbs, and an UOSSM warehouse and office in Aleppo. Three hospitals were also shut down in Dara’a, and a pediatric hospital in Eastern Ghouta, Damascus. Typically UOSSM partially supports many of these hospitals whenever possible.
In addition to attacks on hospitals, civilian facilities such as schools have also been attacked. Dr. Sawah said, “The attacks on medical and civilian facilities must stop and UN Security Council Resolutions and International Humanitarian Law must be observed to the fullest extent in order to protect innocent civilians.”