Fifteen of the last 35 remaining doctors in the rebel-held parts of Aleppo have written an open letter to the US President Barack Obama, urging him to intervene to stop the bombardment of hospitals by Russian and Assad forces.
The letter says the US has made no effort to lift the siege or even use its influence to push the parties to ensure protection of civilians.
“We do not need tears sympathy or even prayers: we desperately need a zone free from bombing over eastern Aleppo to stop the attacks, and international action to ensure Aleppo is never besieged again,” the doctors wrote.
The doctors warned that “unless a permanent lifeline to Aleppo is opened it will be only a matter of time until we are again surrounded by regime troops, hunger takes hold and hospitals’ supplies run completely dry.”
The doctors said that last month alone saw 42 attacks on medical facilities and that a medical facility in Syria is attacked every 17 hours. Two weeks ago, four newborn babies gasping for air suffocated to death after a blast cut the oxygen supply to their incubators, according to the doctors.
“At this rate, our medical services in Aleppo could be completely destroyed in a month, leaving 300,000 people to die,” the doctors’ letter said.
The doctors explained that what pained them most was being forced to choose who will live and who will die.
“Young children are sometimes brought into our emergency rooms so badly injured that we have to prioritize those with better chances, or simply don’t have the equipment to help them,” they wrote.
“For five years, we have faced death from above on a daily basis. But we now face death from all around. For five years, we have borne witness as countless patients, friends and colleagues suffered violent, tormented deaths. For five years, the world has stood by and remarked how ‘complicated’ Syria is, while doing little to protect us.”
According to the World Health Organization, Syria was classified as the most dangerous place for workers in the health sector in 2015 as nearly 135 attacks targeted medical facilities and personnel.
Medical workers in the liberated areas of Aleppo on Wednesday said that the Russian and regime air forces targeted around 36 medical facilities within the last 40 days in a blatant violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2286 which was adopted on May 3, 2016. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)