UN condemns the escalating attacks on Syria’s health facilities


Major hospital bombed in an airstrike in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. File photo

ARA News

Geneva – The UN World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday condemned attacks on five Syrian hospitals –including two trauma centers, an emergency obstetric center and a mobile medical clinic.

The UN health agency demanded that all parties to Syria’s five-year conflict “respect the neutrality of health workers, health facilities and medical supplies.”

“The pattern of attacks indicates that health care is being deliberately targeted in the Syrian conflict – this is a major violation of international law and a tragic disregard of our common humanity,” the WHO said in a statement.

“These attacks have seriously reduced the availability of health services in northern Syria and resulted in a major disruption of referrals of critically injured and ill patients,” the WHO added.

The World Health Organization’s statement came one day after the Syrian Air Force launched several airstrikes in eastern Aleppo, targeting rebel-held districts. A major children’s hospital was hit along with an adjacent blood bank.

“Assad’s air force bombed al-Bayan Children’s Hospital in Aleppo, causing dozens of casualties,” local media activist Ahmed Halwani told ARA News.

At least 26 civilians, including children, were killed. Halwani said that “many others remained trapped under the rubble.”

Attacks on Syria’s war-ravaged health infrastructure have increased in both frequency and scale, according to the UN health agency. In 2016 alone, the United Nations documented 126 raids on Syrian medical facilities.

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