The Ministry of Health in the Syrian Interim Government sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General António Guterres highlighting the systematic bombing of hospitals and medical facilities by the Assad regime and Russia forces. The last few days saw intensified aerial attacks on medical centers in the rebel-held areas, resulting in the death of many members of the medical staff and destruction of hospitals.
The ministry of health said that regime forces and their allies targeted no fewer than 70 medical centers in the rebel-held areas between 2011 and 2015. The attacks have killed at least 497 doctors, nurses, and paramedics. According to figures compiled by the ministry, 2016 saw a dramatic increase in such attacks which targeted at least 286 health facilities and killed around 151 medical personnel.
The Assad regime and Russian air forces have bombed 32 medical centers since the beginning of 2017. Airstrikes using vacuum bombs and cluster munitions targeted the main hospital in the town of Kafar Takharim in rural Idlib at dawn on Tuesday.
The ministry stressed that the medical facilities targeted by the attacks were all located away from rebel fighters’ military headquarters and battle frontlines, adding that they did not have any military presence. It also stressed these facilities provided medical services to all residents in the liberated areas regardless of religion, sect, or ethnicity. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)