November Witnesses an Alarming Rise of Deliberate and Indiscriminate Attacks on Hospitals Intensifying the Suffering of the Syrian People

Cincinnati, OH -There has been a major increase in the indiscriminate and deliberate targeting of hospitals and healthcare facilities in November. In the past week at least eight hospitals have been attacked, some more than once, causing major damage and putting many out of service. Two medical staff were killed and at least 16 medical personnel, including doctors and nurses have been injured.
According to the Turkey Health Cluster, the medical facilities that were attacked in the past two days,  provide on average of 23,000 consultations, 2000 admissions, 1800 surgeries and 650 deliveries combined per month.
On Monday,  a hospital* in the western suburbs of Aleppo was hit by an airstrike at 12 p.m. Damascus time, injuring three nurses. The facility was heavily damaged and was put out of service.
A second hospital in the western suburbs of  Aleppo was hit by an airstrike at 2 p.m. Damascus time, injuring one doctor and eight nurses. The facility was previously attacked on November 11, the facility was completely destroyed and put out of service  after the second attack.

A third hospital in the western suburbs of  Aleppo was hit by an airstrike at 11 p.m. Damascus time, killing two staff, and injuring one doctor and three nurses. The facility was heavily damaged, and put out of service.

On Sunday, two hospitals in the suburbs of Idlib were hit by airstrikes. One of the hospitals had major damage and was put out of service, while the other had minor damage.

On Friday November 11,  another major hospital in the suburbs of Hama sustained major damage after being hit by at least two barrel bombs, and was completely put out of service. The hospital provided an average of 1,940 consultations, 339 admissions, 126 major surgeries and 25 deliveries, according to the Turkey Health Cluster.

Another hospital in Atareb, in the suburbs of Aleppo, was targeted yesterday by airstrikes, resulting in damage to the facility. No casualties were reported. On a monthly basis the hospital was providing an average of 3,350 consultations, 480 admissions and 285 major surgeries, according to the Turkey Health Cluster.

Two other hospitals in the suburbs of Aleppo were damaged as a result of  nearby airstrikes  last week.

The attacks were verified by UOSSM staff, Dr. Ahmad Dbais, Safe and Security Director, and Dr. Tammam Lodami.

UOSSM also has unverified reports that at least six people have been killed and dozens were injured after a health care center in Homs province was bombed with the chemical agent napalm.  In addition, there are reports of another attack on the hospital that was severely damaged in the suburbs of Idlib, leading to its complete destruction.  Two civil defense centers, one in  the suburbs of Aleppo and one in Ghota were also reported as being attacked in the past few hours. UOSSM will verify these reports as they become available.

Dr. Khaula Sawah, CEO of UOSSM USA said,” I appeal to the International Community to enforce existing Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law, and UN Resolutions, and to exercise its role and responsibility to protect the lives of civilians. Our role as humanitarian workers is to ease the suffering of the people. The silence of the International Community is putting the lives of doctors, medical personnel, civilians, and public health at risk…such silence is killing a nation.”
UOSSM estimates that since March 2011 through September 30, 2016, at least 710 medical staff, including doctors, have been killed. And there have been at least 545 attacks on about 250 medical facilities, which have been documented, throughout Syria. All of these attacks have either destroyed, damaged, or halted the medical services provided to the Syrian people. In 2016 alone, as of the end of September, over 185 attacks have been documented against healthcare facilities and at least 115 health workers were killed.
*Hospital names are concealed for the protection of the staff and facilities.
**Given the extreme challenges of collecting data in the field, the data does not include attacks which UOSSM was unable to verify.