Aleppo Campaign Escalates, Five Hospitals Attacked in Eastern Aleppo
(Washington, DC) - The sound of fighter jets and the terrible whine of barrel bombs falling from the sky filled eastern Aleppo this week as airstrikes targeted medical relief services and civilians. Three hospitals were attacked on Monday, all of which were supported by humanitarian groups in the American Relief Coalition for Syria (ARCS). Two more medical facilities were destroyed on Wednesday including a children’s hospital in the al-Shaar neighborhood of Aleppo.
Two of those hospitals were supported by the Syrian American Medical Society, a member of ARCS. Since July, there have been 138 attacks on medical facilities, an unprecedented number for this conflict. Dr. Ahmad Tarakji, the President of SAMS, stated:
"The deliberate targeting of medical facilities is a war crime. How much longer will the international community remain silent in the face of such atrocities? This silence only emboldens the perpetrators to continue to commit these crimes. There must be accountability from the international community.”
Syria Relief & Development, a nonprofit organization and ARCS member that provides humanitarian medical aid, runs the now destroyed Baghdad Hospital, located in the Aleppo countryside. Co-founder Jomana Qaddour responded to the attacks:
“I’m not quite sure how many times you can rebuild and rebuild, and still expect to have the desire or stamina to keep rebuilding. Our staff inside are completely disillusioned by how many times they have had to rebuild institutions that are meant to save lives. They are tired of losing comrades along the way.”
The only hospital serving 60,000 people in a small village in Aleppo was destroyed along with the next closest hospital. ARCS’ member organization, the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), provides support for both hospitals.
Baghdad Hospital in the western countryside of Aleppo was destroyed by two consecutive aerial attacks on Monday night. The hospital was one of two major trauma facilities in the western countryside of Aleppo, serving a population of over 90,000 Syrians in the surrounding community. Prior to the attack, an average of 5,000 beneficiaries were receiving medical care at the facility in the form of trauma services, emergency and elective surgeries, major and minor surgeries, outpatient consultations and inpatient admission. The hospital had a fully functioning emergency department and Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
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