For Immediate Release
In response to the ongoing assault against Syrian civilians and health facilities in eastern Ghouta, Susannah Sirkin, Director for International Policy and Partnerships at Physicians for Human Rights, issued the following statement:
“The Syrian and Russian governments’ shameful and ongoing assault on eastern Ghouta has caused the death of countless civilians, immobilized medical services – even for first aid – and driven thousands from their homes. Since Monday, Physicians for Human Rights has received reports of as many as eight separate attacks on health facilities, highlighting, once again, that blatant war crimes have become an everyday feature in the conduct of the war in Syria. This week’s heavy airstrikes and shelling were announced in advanced by Syrian army operatives, who bragged about the upcoming massive attack on an area that has been besieged by the government in whole or in part since April 2013.
“The health crisis in eastern Ghouta has long been compounded by unconscionable siege warfare and by the Syrian government’s blocking of humanitarian aid – including medical supplies – into the area. There is absolutely no doubt that the Syrian and Russian governments meant to harm the civilian population in eastern Ghouta, in direct defiance of international humanitarian norms. As long as the nations of the world with the responsibility to protect fail to act to stop this violence, we will see these crimes against humanity repeated again and again: first in Aleppo, now in eastern Ghouta, soon in Idlib and Hama.”
Physicians for Human Rights maintains a comprehensive map of attacks against health facilities in Syria, available here.
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.