One of Syria’s Most Secure Hospitals Put Out of Service After Targeted Air Strikes

Cincinnati, OH – One of Syria’s most secure hospitals was put out of service today, after two waves of airstrikes caused major damage to the building. The “Dr. Hasan Al-Araj”  or “Cave Hospital,” in rural Hama, supported by UOSSM and other NGOs, is a hospital built inside a cave 50 feet (17 meters) deep inside a mountain. The hospital was directly targeted by two separate waves of airstrikes, one in the afternoon at approximately 3 p.m. and one in the evening, causing massive damage to the emergency room and major damage to other parts of the hospital, resulting in its closure. No casualties were reported, only minor injuries. All medical staff and equipment have been evacuated from the building.

The hospital, which is completely underground, was named “Dr. Hasan Al-Araj Hospital” who was killed at the doorsteps of the building. The hospital provides services in rural Hama areas. Most patients receive emergency treatment from bombed areas. The hospital provides at least 150 surgeries a month and has at least 40-50 intensive care cases in the ICU a month.
Dr. Abdallah Darwish, Director of the hospital and head of the Healthcare Directorate in Hama said, “It is suspected that the hospital was targeted by “bunker buster” missiles as the hospital was well fortified in a cave and impervious to previous attacks, the bomb caused complete destruction of the emergency department and major destruction throughout the hospital.”
This comes one day after the M10 hospital in the besieged area of Aleppo was completely put out of service after being directly targeted for the third time in a week, and three other hospitals were put out of service in the last week in Aleppo alone.
Dr. Khaula Sawah, CEO of UOSSM USA said, “The situation in Syria is becoming more and more dire as every day passes, these vicious and atrocious campaigns are literally choking the life out of civilians, they are deplorable and unacceptable. The indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians and the direct targeting of medical staff and healthcare facilities is a war crime. It is unacceptable that the International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights Law, and UNSC Resolutions are not being enforced with innocent civilians paying the ultimate price.
We demand the international community and all responsible parties put an immediate stop to this before it is too late.