For Immediate Release
August 14, 2019
Washington, D.C.- Earlier today, a SAMS-supported ambulance center in Ma’aret Hurmeh in southern Idlib province was targeted by six airstrikes, resulting in the death of two employees: Mohamad Hussni Mishnen, 29, a paramedic, and Fadi Alomar, 34, an ambulance driver. The facility and the ambulance were completely destroyed. Today’s attack marks the 40th attack on healthcare facilities and the 17th attack on 12 SAMS facilities in northwest Syria since April 26, 2019. Some facilities have been targeted more than once, including the ambulance network, which has been attacked three times in different locations. In today’s attack, a first responder was also killed in a double-tap attack on the facility as he was trying to rescue Mohamed and Fadi from under the rubble.
“We’re deeply saddened and disturbed by this terrible incident. Mohamed and Fadi exemplified the unwavering bravery of so many medical workers who continue to risk their lives to save others. These blatant crimes and violations of IHL must be investigated to hold perpetrators accountable,” said Dr. Mufaddal Hamadeh, SAMS President. “Our hearts and prayers go out to their families and loved ones in their moments of grief.”
Since the beginning of the conflict in 2011, more than 850 medical workers have been killed, including at least 50 SAMS medical workers, who have paid the highest price for their courage and selfless efforts.
Since April 26, northwest Syria has come under heavy bombardment, targeting civilian infrastructure and forcing hundreds of thousands out of their homes. Today’s tragedy only reiterates the need for the international community to hold perpetrators of such attacks accountable. The recent announcement by the UN Secretary General of a new investigation into attacks on healthcare in Syria is one step towards real deterrence and accountability, but must be part of a larger effort by the international community to uphold international humanitarian law in this conflict. The perceived lack of accountability and responsiveness from the international community in Syria will only exacerbate the situation on the ground for the nearly 3 million civilians trapped in northwest Syria.
For media inquiries, contact SAMS Media and Communications Manager, Lobna Hassairi, at [email protected].