19 Nov 2015

While the World Focuses on the Islamic State, Assad Keeps Bombing Doctors and Civilians

The regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been bombing hospitals and civilian targets, a situation made worse recently by the arrival of Russian warplanes. Russian airstrikes hit medical facilities at least 10 times during their first month of bombing in Syria, making matters even worse for doctors, nurses, and patients who have already endured repeated bombardment from Syrian government forces, according to a report from the non-profit group Physicians for Human Rights (PHR).


PHR said the Russian strikes, which began on September 30, included several in the vicinity of Aleppo, where 45 healthcare facilities have been hit in the past three years. According PHR, almost all of the city's doctors — 95 percent — have been killed, detained, or fled the area. The group said it documented 329 attacks on Syrian medical facilities through October, leading to the deaths of 687 medical personnel across the country. It attributed 90 percent of those incidents to the Syrian government. "Each attack, whether the bombing of a hospital or the detention and torture of a doctor for providing health care, is a war crime," said the report's authors.

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