Dallas, Texas- Two paramedics and one driver were killed today in the line of duty as their ambulance was targeted and completely destroyed. They were driving towards the site of another attack in Kafr Zeta, in the Hama Countryside, to help the victims, and were targeted at 2:00 p.m. Damascus time. The ambulance was part of the Kafr Zeta Ambulance System, supported by the Hama Health Directorate.
The attacks in northwest Syria have intensified over the past week. At least 118 were killed, at least eight were children, and over 171 were wounded, many of the victims were women and children. This week a painful image emerged of two young girls ages 5 and 3 as they were dangling from their destroyed home. Big sister Reham was holding onto her baby sister, Rawan, so she wouldn’t fall. Ultimately both fell, Reham died and Rawan died the next day.
Since April 28, at least 700 civilians have been killed, many of them women and children, and at least 1600 were wounded. 25 humanitarian workers were killed, at least 29 were wounded, and 39 medical facilities were bombed. Approximately 500,000 people have been newly displaced after their homes and areas have come under fierce bombardment. Many of these families have nowhere to go.
In the strongest terms, UOSSM condemns the killing of aid workers and the deliberate destruction of medical facilities, which is a clear violation of UNSC 2286 and a war crime. We stand in solidarity with all aid workers operating in Syria and mourn the loss of these courageous paramedics who were killed in the line of duty.
Dr. Khaula Sawah, Vice President of UOSSM USA said, “This has been an exceptionally difficult week. The images that we are getting are so deeply disturbing. My heart broke for the two girls that fell to their death, I can’t imagine the fear they were feeling as big sister Reham, was holding on to her little sister Rawan so she wouldn’t fall. No child should ever be put in a situation like that, experiencing utter and complete fear. So many children have been killed or wounded in the past few months, this must stop immediately. We are screaming at the top of our lungs hoping someone, somewhere will stop this. These are war crimes; the perpetrators must be stopped and must be held accountable. Too many lives are at stake.”
*Numbers are constantly changing due to situation on the ground.