For Immediate Release
June 11, 2019
Washington, D.C.- The targeting of civilian infrastructure in northwest Syria continues with impunity, killing at least 380 civilians, including 91 children, and injuring many more since the beginning of the escalation on April 26, 2019. Yesterday, SAMS medical workers on the ground reported receiving 27 casualties, including 11 children. Another 70 were injured. A mother and her two children were reported among the deaths in Al Zerbeh in the southern Aleppo countryside. Since the beginning of the offensive on April 26, SAMS has received 1,649 injured patients.
Organizations responding to the health needs in the area have reported 25 attacks on health facilities, each of which represents an egregious violation of international humanitarian law. These attacks make it more difficult for civilians to access medical care at a time when they desperately need it, as hospitals are forced to close, turn away non-emergency cases, or redirect cases to hospitals in safer areas. The majority of SAMS facilities in northwestern Syria have been working under a state of emergency, responding to critical, urgent cases.
“If I could describe what we have been experiencing over the last few weeks, I’d say it’s been nothing short of hell on earth. The situation on the ground continues to deteriorate. The ongoing targeting of civilians has caused waves of displaced people who have resorted to living under olive trees. Our hospitals have been overflowing with the sick and injured, but we are trying our best to respond given the challenges and aerial threats we’re facing,” said Dr. Walid Tamer, one of SAMS surgeons at the Atareb Hospital.