WHO ‘Gravely Concerned’ about Attacks on Hospitals in Syria’s NW
The World Health Organization said it is “gravely concerned” about attacks on seven healthcare facilities in northwestern Syria that took place as part of the ferocious onslaught the Assad regime and Russian forces have launched in the region since late April.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, WHO said that the attacks took place in the period between 28-30 August 2019. Attacks on four facilities have been verified according to WHO reporting standards, and three are in process of verification.
The targeted facilities included four hospitals and two primary health care centers that were functional at the time they were hit. One primary health care center had been previously evacuated in advance of military action. At least two injuries were reported, and two facilities were destroyed, the statement said.
WHO went on to say that these attacks come at a time of increased hostilities in and around Idlib province that is greatly accelerating humanitarian need.
There are currently 13.7 million people in need of health assistance in Syria, including an estimated four million in the north-west, WHO said. In August alone, more than 130 000 people were displaced from northern Hama and Idlib provinces.
“Providing health services in north-west Syria is increasingly challenging and dangerous, and attacks such as these only deprive innocent civilians from lifesaving care.”
At the end of August, the Syrian Civil Defense said that the Al-Iman Specialized Hospital in western rural Aleppo had been put out of service after it was directly hit with suspected Russian airstrikes.
In early August, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres agreed to a request by two-thirds of the UN Security Council member States for an international inquiry into attacks on civilian facilities in northwestern Syria. Russia has been widely accused of bombing hospitals as part of the ongoing bombing campaign it has launched against Idlib province since late April. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)