For Immediate Release
Syrian government attacks this week damaged and closed a hospital near the Turkish border, according to researchers at Physicians for Human Rights (PHR). Part of a string of assaults, this government-led attack not only violated a month-long cessation of hostilities agreement but also constitutes a flagrant breach of international humanitarian law.
On March 31, PHR’s research reveals, Syrian government forces launched at least five strikes on a hospital and a physiotherapy center in Yamadiya, a town in Latakia governorate near the Turkish border. This repeated shelling damaged the hospital and forced staff to evacuate all patients and stop services altogether.
“Yet again, the Syrian government is guilty of bombarding and killing its own people,” said PHR Syria researcher Elise Baker. “This week’s attacks are a clear breach of the ceasefire agreement and yet another instance of the Syrian government violating international law and placing its own survival ahead of the life and dignity of its own citizens.”
The hospital and physiotherapy centers were two of the only facilities of their kind in the region, providing advanced medical and physical therapy care. The facilities’ closure now leaves the area – home to a large population of Syrians displaced by the war – with limited access to medical services. The Yamadiya attack occurred a few hours after government airstrikes targeted Deir al Asafir, an opposition-held suburb east of Damascus, claiming dozens of lives, including civilians.
Since the beginning of the five-year Syrian conflict, PHR has documented and mapped indiscriminate and intentional strikes against medical personnel and facilities throughout Syria. As of February, PHR has documented 358 strikes against medical facilities and the deaths of 726 medical personnel since 2011.
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.