The seventh anniversary of the start of the Syrian conflict brings no sign of the fighting abating. In its latest issue brief, Physicians for Human Rights shows how a pattern of targeted attacks on health care in the war-torn country are generating a lethal context in which civilians suffer and die not only from the direct consequences of warfare, but also from denial of adequate medical care, malnutrition, and starvation. In so-called de-escalation zones, hospitals and other health facilities are under constant bombardment and shelling, medical personnel are being killed, humanitarian aid is systematically blocked, and civilian populations remain under siege.
PHR’s researchers have corroborated 492 attacks on health care sites, including 79 hospitals that were struck more than once, from the start of the conflict through the end of 2017. At least 847 medical personnel have been killed in this time period.
As the fighting enters its eight grueling year with nearly half a million lives lost, PHR renews its call for an end to the relentless attacks on civilians and civilian targets, which are in direct violation of international humanitarian law and which, amidst inaction from the international community, are taking place with utter impunity.