Four UOSSM Staff Killed in an Airstrike at Medical Triage Point in Khan Touman Aleppo, Syria

Cincinnati, OH-  Four staff members of the International Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations (UOSSM) were killed after being dispatched to the Khan Touman medical triage point, and one nurse is in critical condition, from an airstrike at approximately 11 p.m. Damascus time, that led to the complete destruction of the facility. Many more victims are feared dead as they are still buried underneath the rubble.
The five medics, three nurses and two drivers, were responding to a dispatch from the Khan Touman Medical Point in southern Aleppo, to triage wounded civilians to a nearby hospital.
Upon their arrival the area was hit with another airstrike claiming the lives of four of the medics and placing the fifth medic, a nurse in critical condition. The two ambulances were also destroyed.
The medical triage point mostly provides triage and emergency medical services to approximately 750 wounded patients a month.

After learning of the tragedy by his staff on the ground, Dr.Zedoun Alzoubi, CEO of UOSSM-International, followed up with Dr Camilo Valderram, World Health Organization (WHO), Health Cluster Coordinator, in Gaziantep, Turkey, to brief him about the situation, as the UOSSM ambulatory dispatch system is supported by WHO.

This attack comes one day after the UN/ Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) convoy was hit with airstrikes leading to the death of the Director of the SARC and many other aid workers. It has been a deadly year for healthcare workers where over 115 were killed in 2016 alone, and over 700 medical personnel have been killed since the beginning of the crisis.

Dr. Khaula Sawah, CEO of UOSSM USA said, “This is a deplorable act against healthcare workers and medical facilities. Today, UOSSM lost four staff members and a nurse’s life is still hanging in the balance. Healthcare and humanitarian workers lives are supposed to be protected by International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Laws. These selfless people gave their lives to save the lives of others. Deliberate targeting of humanitarian and healthcare workers is a clear violation of the International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law, and the perpetrators must be held accountable.  We demand the international community to act swiftly to put an end to such atrocities. Too many lives have been lost.” Dr. Sawah added, “We send our heartfelt condolences to these selfless people and their families who sacrificed everything to save the lives of their fellow citizens. They truly are heroes.”

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