For Immediate Release
November 2, 2015
Washington, DC – In the last three days, the besieged town of Douma in Rural Damascus was targeted multiple times by aerial attacks, killing at least 78 people, injuring at least 530 people, and destroying a medical point.
On Thursday, October 29, Syrian government warplanes targeted civilian neighborhoods in Douma, killing 16 people and injuring an additional 54. During the attacks, a medical point was severely damaged and two facility staff, an x-ray technician and hospital guard, were injured. The medical point had recently been moved to an undisclosed location due to previous targeting. Many of those injured in the attack were transferred to a SAMS-supported facility in Douma.
On Friday, October 30, a marketplace in Douma was targeted by 10 guided missiles and a mortar bomb. The attack killed 62 civilians and injured hundreds of others. At least 293 injured people, 56 of whom were children, were treated in the SAMS-supported Douma field hospital. Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) estimates that over 550 people were injured in the marketplace attack.
The SAMS-supported facility has been overwhelmed by the high numbers of patients from the two attacks. According to SAMS field staff, “The facility is operating on limited anesthesia materials, intravenous fluids, and is facing difficulties transferring wounded people due to the targeting of members of the Syrian civil defense and rescue teams.” In October, following repeated aerial attacks in Douma, hospital staff were forced to perform dozens of amputations due to the lack of staff and equipment available in the hospital.
Attacks on civilians, medical personnel, or medical facilities constitute grave violations of international humanitarian law. SAMS strongly condemns these aerial attacks in Douma, as well the retaliation by Jaish al-Islam in its use of civilians as human shields to deter further airstrikes. SAMS calls for the UN Security Council to act with urgency and enforce its own resolutions, particularly UNSC Res. 2139 calling for an end to attacks on civilians and respect for medical neutrality.
For media requests, please contact SAMS’s Advocacy and Communications Manager Kat Fallon at [email protected].