Four medical facilities were attacked within 24 hours in Idlib, Syria further crippling a devastated health care system in Idlib. Today, at 5:40 pm Damascus time Al Hikma Hospital in Taftanaz Idlib was targeted by a barrel bomb 50 meters from the hospital causing damage and putting the hospital out of service. No casualties were reported. The hospital, supported by UOSSM, was operating on an emergency only basis and provided services to over 4800 patients in January.
Today, at 11:35 am Damascus time, Al Nour Hospital in Taftanaz was damaged from bombings around 300 meters away. The hospital sustained minor damages and was put out of service. The same hospital was damaged on Tuesday at 12:25 am Damascus time, by an indirect attack.
On Tuesday, February 4 at 10:15 am Damascus time, the Sarmin Primary Health Care Center and Sarmin Hospital were both directly targeted. The facilities sustained major damage and were both put out of service. No casualties were reported. The center provided an average of 4,250 primary healthcare services a month and delivered 60 newborns each month.
The escalation in violence in civilian neighborhoods has caused a mass exodus from areas of bombardment. In the past 48 hours 40,000 civilians were newly displaced and in the past two months over 600,000 were displaced. It is estimated that half are children. The displaced people are running with nowhere to go and are being exposed to brutal conditions in the cold winter. UOSSM doctors have seen a rise in illnesses as people have no shelter in the cold.
WHO is also increasing the number of mobile clinics that can follow the movements of the displaced and are less likely to be attacked. So far in 2020, two separate attacks on health care have been verified; both of them in the northwest, claiming 10 lives and injuring 30.
UOSSM denounces the continued attacks of medical facilities and demands perpetrators are held accountable for these war crimes. UOSSM also denounces the airstrikes, barrel bombings and artillery strikes on densely populated civilian areas, which has resulted in the displacement of more than 600,000 people.
Dr. Khaula Sawah, Vice President of UOSSM USA said, “The humanitarian situation in Idlib right now is catastrophic. Hundreds of thousands are displaced, with nowhere to go, and that number is growing every day. Half of the displaced are children. Nothing is sacred in Syria and all rules of war are being blatantly disregarded with complete impunity. A few days ago, a van carrying civilians was directly targeted killing nine people, three were children. All lives should matter, and civilians should be protected. I hope the world will act to protect these civilians before it is too late.”
*Numbers are constantly changing due to situation on the ground.