Member of the Syrian Coalition’s political committee Hawass Khalil said that the Assad regime is pursuing a policy of state terrorism through the horrible massacres it is committing against the civilian population in Aleppo.
Khalil stressed that the regime’s bombing of civilian targets, particularly hospitals, constitutes a war crime and a crime against humanity and is aimed at intimidating the civilian population and forcing them into submission.
“The deliberate targeting of hospitals by regime forces; the Assad regime’s hindering of the delivery of humanitarian aid into areas under siege; and refusal to release detainees do not only undermine the political process, but also provide further proof that the Assad regime is not a serious partner in negotiations,” Khalid added.
On Tuesday, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2286 which calls for the protection of health care workers, the sick and wounded, hospitals and clinics, in war zones.
Speaking to the 15-member body, Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon reiterated that denying people access to essential health care is a serious violation of international humanitarian law.
“All too often, attacks on health facilities and medical workers are not just isolated or incidental battlefield fallout, but rather the intended objective of the combatants. This is shameful and inexcusable,” Mr. Ki Moon told Council members.
Ki Moon noted that the Assad regime imposes “cumbersome procedures” that restrict access to aid and healthcare. “This is strangulation by red tape. It is violence by bureaucratic means rather than force of arms, but it is just as devastating,” he said.
Aleppo was recently hit by an air strike, which Ki-moon said was “by all accounts by the Government of Syria.” The strike destroyed a hospital and killed at least 20 people, including three children and the area’s one and only pediatrician, Dr. Mohammad Wassim Muaz.
“Yet this appalling act was only the latest wartime assault on health care in Syria,” the UN chief warned. “Since the beginning of the conflict, Physicians for Human Rights has documented more than 360 attacks on some 250 medical facilities. More than 730 medical personnel have been killed.” (Source: Syrian Coalition)