Some of the leading experts on health in Syria discuss the dire situation in eastern Aleppo and what to expect now that the city has fallen under government control.

BEIRUT – With the capture of eastern Aleppo by government forces and their allies and the forced displacement of tens of thousands of people, the health situation in the formerly besieged city has deteriorated even further into a kind of “hell,” medical professionals told Syria Deeply.

Eastern Aleppo’s medical sector had already suffered greatly under a government blockade that started in July. The siege and the subsequent systematic targeting of the city’s medical facilities and staff rendered its health sector completely unable to cope with the latest onslaught.

The global nonprofit organization Physicians for Human Rights has documented 400 attacks on medical facilities in Syria throughout the conflict, with more than 90 percent allegedly perpetrated by the Syrian government or its Russian backers.

Health experts added that towns and villages in the surrounding countryside and nearby city of Idlib have done their best to welcome evacuees, but do not have the resources to settle and sustain such large numbers, believed to be nearly 40,000.

They also warned the current crisis unfolding in Aleppo could soon be repeated in these other areas. “This is only the beginning of the end. We’ll see the same crisis play out as some of these other conflicts reach end stages,” said David Scales, of the Cambridge Health Alliance.

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