Washington, DC- Ahead of the Brussels Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region, Syrian doctors have released a new report documenting a major increase in airstrikes on Syrian hospitals and medical facilities in opposition-held areas. The study, issued by the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations, examines the conditions of 107 hospitals in northern and southern Syria and reveals that all were hit by airstrikes at least once in 2016 – some as many as 25 times.
Key findings of the Syrian Hospitals Surveillance Report:
- All 107 hospitals examined in Aleppo, Idlib, Latakia, Hammah, Daraa, Quneitra, and Homs were hit at least once by a direct or indirect airstrikes. Some hospitals were struck as many as 25 times. The average hospital was attacked three times.
- Three-quarters of the hospitals surveyed were located in buildings not designed to house medical facilities and were in fact makeshift hospitals, ill-equipped to provide the needed medical care.
- More than half of all hospitals’ staff had no training to prepare for or respond to airstrikes, or to document airstrikes; and one third of hospital staff had no experience in occupational safety or risk management.
- There is an alarming scarcity of medical specialties like vascular surgery, neurosurgery, and plastic surgery, and the relevant equipment needed.
- As a result of this data, UOSSM for the first time concludes that new measures are urgently needed to protect hospitals and medical workers from aerial attacks.
The full report can be found here.