For Immediate Release
September 28, 2016
Washington, D.C. – This morning at approximately 4:00 am, two SAMS-supported hospitals, two of the largest in eastern Aleppo City, were targeted– one by an airstrike and one by artillery shelling– and were severely damaged, forcing the facilities to go out of service. The attacks on one hospital, known as M2, an OBGYN and pediatric clinic, killed two patients and injured three staff and four patients. One of the patients was from the pediatric ICU and died during transportation to another facility. The second hospital, known as M10, which operates underground and is the largest trauma and ICU center in eastern Aleppo City, was targeted by missiles, severely damaging the hospital. Since July, both of these hospitals were attacked a total of 14 times. The systematic targeting of hospitals and medical personnel in Syria continues with impunity.
Aerial attacks continued throughout this morning and into the afternoon. In M2, over 90 staff and patients were trapped in the basement, unable to leave due to the intense aerial bombardment. In the same morning, six people were killed in an attack on a bakery. Staff continue to report on airstrikes over civilian neighborhoods, including additional bunker buster bombs.
In the past eight days, more than 1,700 airstrikes have killed more than 400 civilians, over 100 of them children, according to the White Helmets. Aerial attacks included 19 bunker busters and 231 incendiary and cluster bombs.
“The past few days have been the longest and toughest days in Aleppo. In one day, we received 180 wounded civilians, including 72 children and 36 women. Many of them were critically injured. We had people dying in the ERs. Someone died because we couldn’t get to him in time to save his life. The floor was overflowing with injured and blood. Children died because oxygen machines stopped working,” said Mohamed Abu Rajab, SAMS nurse in Aleppo.
The besieged city has now lost two of the five trauma centers that provide critical care for wounded patients. Only six ICU beds in the city remain operational for a population of over 300,000, including 85,000 children. There are only four to six ventilators left in the city. The loss of two healthcare facilities has severely diminished the already strained medical services in eastern Aleppo City. Patients are in need of critical medical evacuation to Idlib or to facilities with more specialized care across the border of Turkey.
“The inaction of the international community for over five years has allowed war crimes to become an everyday reality in Syria. People in Syria have had enough of listening to empty words. Substantive and immediate action must be taken in order to protect civilians,” said SAMS’s President, Dr. Ahmad Tarakji.“For years, SAMS has been calling for the international community to stand with the medical workers in Syria, to protect their lives and their right to provide care. No one has listened. Blatant violations of international humanitarian law cannot continue without accountability.”
For media requests, please contact SAMS’s Media and Communications Manager, Lobna Hassairi at [email protected].