For Immediate Release

July 22, 2019

Washington, D.C.- Today, the city of Ma’arat al-Nu’man in southern Idlib province came under intense air strikes, killing at least 33 people and injuring more than 100, many of whom were children. SAMS hospital security guard, Mahmoud Qittaz, was among those killed in today’s attack on a local marketplace. He had just left work. Mahoud is survived by his wife and 2 children. 

“We are appalled by these blatant attacks on hospitals and civilian infrastructure and the lack of accountability and responsiveness by the UN Security Council to intervene before it’s too late. Instead of searching for solutions, many international actors and governments instead point fingers and devolve into political attacks against one another. This does nothing to alleviate the tremendous human suffering we are witnessing on a daily basis. We are deeply saddened by the death of our colleague Mahmoud. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones,” said Dr. Mufaddal Hamadeh, SAMS President. 

Since April 26, 2019, an all-out assault has been unleashed on the residents of northwest Syria, targeting civilian infrastructure, including hospitals.  Over the past 3 months, SAMS has documented 39 attacks on health facilities in the area, 14 of which participated in the UNOCHA-led deconfliction mechanism. These attacks have gone unanswered. 

Hospitals in northwest Syria are struggling to respond to the growing number of injured civilians. Due to the escalation of attacks, many medical facilities have suspended their operations, while some are operating under a state of emergency. Since late April, SAMS facilities in northwest Syria have received more than 3,740 injured civilians, including 827 children and 620 women. This month alone, our facilities have received 749 injured civilians, including 83 women and 103 children.

SAMS calls on the international community and all parties involved to immediately halt attacks on civilian infrastructure, open a thorough and transparent investigation into these violations of international humanitarian law, and respect the right to access healthcare without any fear of targeting. 

For media inquiries, contact SAMS Media and Communications Manager Lobna Hassairi at [email protected]

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