The Assad regime and its allies bombed up to 107 hospitals and medical centers in the rebel-held areas across Syria in 2016, a monitoring group said. The group reported “alarming inadequacy” of local health care in the rebel-held areas.
In a report released on Sunday, the Union of Relief and Medical Organizations operating in liberated areas said that three-quarters of the hospitals covered by the report were makeshift hospitals established in buildings not designed to provide medical care in the first place.
The Assad regime and its allies are not only killing and injuring civilians in their homes or in shelters, but also in hospitals that become more like mass graves whose walls are destroyed by aerial bombardment, the report added.
The report indicated that almost all permanent hospitals in the rebel-held areas were completely or partially destroyed, noting that those who bombed these hospitals were fully aware of the nature of the target they bombed, which indicates that these attacks were deliberate.
In addition to destroying the hospitals and medical supplies, these airstrikes also killed medical staff, making sustainable treatment in the rebel-held areas impossible, the report said.
In February, an investigation initiated by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) concluded that the Assad regime and Russian forces were behind airstrikes that had hit two hospitals in northeastern Syria earlier in February 2016. The medical charity said that 25 people, including an MSF staff member, were killed and 11 others wounded in the attack.
MSF’s confirmation was based on an investigation by the Forensic Architecture Agency which looked into the airstrike on Ma’arat Alnuman hospital. The agency used amateur photographs and video footage to help reconstruct the bombings.
The Ministry of Health in the Syrian interim government called on the international community and all human rights organizations to assume their responsibilities towards the continued violations and crimes against humanity carried out by regime forces and its allies against innocent and unarmed civilians across Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media department + Agencies)