UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the ongoing airstrikes impacting civilians, including those on medical facilities and medical workers, in northwest Syria, his spokesman said Thursday.
“Civilians and civilian infrastructure, including medical facilities, must be protected,” said Guterres in a statement released by his spokesman.
“Parties to the conflict must respect their obligations under international humanitarian law,” Guterres said, adding that those behind the attacks must be held accountable.
An ambulance center, a clinic and two hospitals including one in Ma’aret al Numan that is among the largest in the area were attacked on Wednesday, according to the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations, a Syrian doctors’ group.
The United Nations had shared the coordinates of the hospital in Ma’aret al Numan with the warring parties, the statement said.
According to the Syrian Civil Defense, the aerial bombardment by the Assad regime and Russian air forces completely knocked out many health and service centers as well as caused widespread destruction to medical equipment and buildings.
In its latest report on the military operations in the region, the Syrian Network for Human Rights said that the bombardment has killed hundreds of civilians, including children and women, as well as injured thousands more. It noted that the majority of the victims were civilians as the bombardment is mainly targeting vital civilian centers including healthcare facilities, schools, and houses of worship.
The Syrian Coalition stressed the importance of urgent action by the international community to stop the bombardment and protect civilians. It called for serious steps to force the Assad regime and its allies to recommit to the Idlib Agreement and the ceasefire. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)