The intense military campaign in North Western Syria has displaced over 900,000 people since December, including an estimated 500,000 children. Freezing weather and a lack of adequate shelter have killed seven children, including one 7 month old child. From February 1-16, at least 35 children were killed by airstrikes and ground based attacks in North Western Syria.
Since December, 72 hospitals, primary healthcare centers, medical facilities and mobile clinics have suspended operations because of targeted airstrikes impacting hundreds of thousands of civilians. This impacts 200 doctors, 300 nurses and 50 midwives. In Atareb and Idlib city, maternal and childcare treatments have stopped functioning. For the few facilities that are operational, staff are working 18 hour days and are running critically low on medical supplies and medicines.
Dr. Khaula Sawah, Vice President of UOSSM USA said, “ The failure of the international community to take a stand and stop the violence is costing more and more lives every single day. The blood of every child that dies due to their apathy is on their hands. I wonder what it will take for action to finally be taken! Almost 1 MILLION people were displaced in two months, over HALF are children, and now we are getting reports of senseless and completely preventable deaths due to the cold. And that is without deaths due to the violent bombardment on innocent civilians. All this while the world continues to look the other way. Action must be taken immediately. Our disgraceful apathy will be recorded in history.”
In the strongest terms, UOSSM condemns the violence in North Western Syria and demands an immediate cessation of hostilities. UOSSM requests emergency aid be released without delay, to cope with the massive influx of IDPS, and that every possible measure is taken to protect the 500,000 children in clear and present danger.
*Numbers are constantly changing due to situation on the ground.