For Immediate Release
September 30, 2015
– Russian airstrikes in Homs today have led to the deaths of at least 33 individuals, including 1 civil defender and 3 children. Ground sources have confirmed that 6 of the deaths were in Rastan, 11 in Zafaraneh, 17 in Talbiseh, and 2 in Makramiah and Ghantou. All SAMS-supported field hospitals in northern Homs are treating additional patients wounded in the attacks. One of the airstrikes hit only 200 meters from a field hospital in Talbiseh. The areas targeted are not controlled by ISIS or other extremist groups. The cities of Rastan, Talbiseh, and others hit by the aistrikes have been besieged by the government for the past three years.
SAMS operates 3 medical facilities in Homs, offering OB/GYN, trauma, and primary care. The medical and humanitarian situation remains precarious in these areas and SAMS facilities lack basic medical supplies, depend on generators for electricity, face fuel shortages, and have been forced underground due to targeted airstrikes and barrel bombs.
These Russian airstrikes occur only two days after Russia addressed the UN General Assembly in New York as the Chair of the Security Council. SAMS strongly condemns the Russian airstrikes and targeting of children, hospitals, civilians areas, and besieged areas by any party. The Russian airstrikes are expected to worsen the humanitarian situation in cities already under severe stress, cause a new influx of refugees and displaced people, and further damage the credibility of the UN Security Council. All aerial attacks against civilian populated areas violate international humanitarian law. SAMS implores the U.S. and all UN Security Council members to hold all perpetrators accountable and halt airstrikes against civilians in Syria immediately.
For media requests, please contact SAMS’s Advocacy and Communications Manager Kat Fallon at [email protected].