The United Nations has come under fire for sharing the coordinates of hospitals in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta with Russia, only for one of them to be bombed days later, according to The Telegraph newspaper.
One of the hospitals whose details were shared with the UN on March 12 – in the Arbeen neighborhood of besieged eastern Ghouta – was targeted in a direct strike on March 20. The organization gave the GPS locations supplied by NGOs operating in Idlib and eastern Ghouta to Russia and the US as part of a new “notification system.”
At least one patient was killed by what medics suspected to be a “bunker-buster” bomb. It was not immediately clear whether it was a Syrian or Russian attack, however Moscow is known to use the more precise bombs, which burrow deep underground before exploding.
“The grim reality is that we have reached a stage in the war where the international community is unable to offer protection to civilians or humanitarians,” said Emma Beals, an independent Syria analyst.
“I first reported on intentional attacks on medical workers and facilities in Syria in 2013,” Beals added in comments she posted on Twitter on Thursday.
“PHR, HRW, SAMS, MSF, and countless others have recorded an ongoing and cynical tactic of intentional targeting of medical facilities dating back years, involving hundreds of attacks, with one main perpetrator.”
The United Nations and several rights watchdog groups have repeatedly reported that the Assad regime and Russian forces were intentionally attacking medical facilities in Syria. The Syrian Coalition said earlier that these attacks were aimed at putting more pressure on civilians and rebels to force them to leave their homes.
The Coalition said that the outcome of the systematic targeting of medical facilities and markets is well known, stressing that there must no more impunity for these crimes. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)