Washington, D.C.- Three hospitals were hit by airstrikes on December 25 in the Aleppo suburbs with casualties and substantial damages being reported. The Azaz Maternity and Children’s Hospital, operated by Syria Charity, is now out of service due to the airstrikes. 10 people were killed and 10 wounded in the immediate vicinity surrounding the hospital, and damages were reported to medical equipment and electric generators. The Azaz Maternity and Children’s Hospital had 10 incubators for premature babies and provides critical OBGYN care for women, delivering an average of 260 babies per month.
The Hreitan Hospital is also out of service due to the airstrikes. The hospital is supported by the US charity group Syria Relief and Development (SRD). It was reportedly hit twice in a 24 hour period. 1 staff member waskilled. Two sections of the Azaz General Hospital, supported by the organization Physicians Across Continents (PAC), was hit simultaneously by two missiles. All equipment in the maintenance department along with 13 vehicles belonging to the hospital were completely destroyed. The administrative department, the pediatrics ward, and the pharmacy were damaged. No medical staff or patients were killed inside the hospital, however 4 airstrikes that hit the immediate surrounding area killed 14 civilians. Azaz Hospital is out of service generally and only taking emergency cases.
The attacks on Aleppo hospitals follow a string of reported attacks on medical facilities including a December 21 airstrike on the Dayr Asafeer Hospital in Eastern Ghouta, and the December 24 attack on the UOSSM Zafarani Primary Health Center in Homs suburbs. The Zafarani Primary Health Center is one of many health facilities supported by UOSSM inside Syria. “These indiscriminate airstrikes are part of an unrelenting serial attack on healthcare facilities in Syria,” said Dr. Khaula Sawah, CEO of UOSSM USA. “The continual violation of international law cannot continue and the targeting of civilian areas and medical facilities must end. The population is suffering from almost 5 years of brutal war and denied safe access to much- needed medical aid. We cannot afford to have more hospitals in Syria go out-of-service due to airstrikes and other attacks. We demand the international community recognize the dire healthcare and humanitarian crisis emanating from these illegal and unconscionable attacks, and more importantly, we demand urgent steps be taken to stop the violence, including adhering to UNSC Resolution 2254 that insists all attacks on civilian and medical facilities cease immediately,” said Sawah.