In response to reports of artillery strikes against the Al-Atareb Surgical Hospital in western Aleppo, Northwest Syria, the following statement is attributable to Susannah Sirkin, Physicians for Human Rights director of policy:
“We are horrified by reports that the Syrian government has yet again targeted a hospital, this time the Al-Atareb Surgical Hospital in western Aleppo, supported by the Syrian-American Medical Society (SAMS).
“This deadly, appalling, and inhumane attack against medics and patients reveals once more the barbarism of the perpetrators, who continue to commit these grotesque crimes with utter impunity. This hospital was bombed by the regime in 2014 before being reestablished by SAMS underground, to help shield it from aerial bombardment. The hospital was also reportedly on the United Nation’s ‘deconfliction list’ of supposedly protected facilities.
“A decade of war in Syria has been defined by the government’s brazen and illegal attacks on health. As we enter year 11 of the conflict, the Syrian government appears to be continuing its strategy of decimating hospitals and attacking medics.
“Physicians for Human Rights has documented 598 attacks on at least 350 separate facilities, as well as the killing of 930 medical personnel since the onset of the conflict. Approximately 90 percent of these attacks are attributable to the Syrian government and its allies, including Russia.
“The United Nations Security Council has abandoned Syria’s nurses, doctors, and patients. After a decade of failure, the international community must step up to stop these attacks and hold perpetrators of these unthinkable acts accountable for the bloodshed.”
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.