Sick and injured civilians within and outside Raqqa city are facing major difficulties obtaining urgent lifesaving medical care due to the ongoing battle to control the northeastern Syrian city, said international medical organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
In a statement released on Monday, MSF called on all warring parties and their allies to ensure the protection of civilians and allow access to medical care and medical evacuation for the war-wounded.
MSF also reiterated the importance of facilitating access to northeast Syria for international demining organizations to carry out their activities so that residents can return to their homes safely and aid organizations can provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance.
Since June, MSF medical teams in northeast Syria have treated 415 patients from Raqqa city and surrounding villages. Most patients are civilians with conflict-related injuries caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs), landmines, unexploded ordnance, shrapnel and gunshot wounds.
“There are large numbers of residual explosive devices in these towns that are preventing people from returning to their normal lives,” said Vanessa Cramond, MSF medical coordinator for Turkey and north Syria.
“For example in Hazima, to the north of Raqqa city, our teams resumed some medical services this week in a local school, but were forced to put this on hold after the building was found to be contaminated with mines and booby traps,” Cramond added. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Smart News Network)