Since our founding, SRD has continued to advocate to domestic and international policy makers and the United Nations (UN) on pressing issues facing Syrian civil society, including protection for healthcare workers and safe corridors for civilians trapped amid fighting. We will continue advocating for the Syrian people, amplifying their voices, for as long as the conflict continues to devastatingly affect the country’s general population.
The Systematic Targeting of Healthcare Personnel and Facilities
In April 2017, missiles targeting a surgical hospital killed 3 Syrians and wounded several others. On the same day, two more attacks targeted an ambulance system and a medical facility during evacuation, destroying the facility, 8 ambulances and killing 14 people, including 4 paramedics. The attacks were just a few in a long line of such attacks targeting healthcare personnel and medical facilities.
According to Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), 485 medical facilities have been attacked in Syria since the start of the conflict, resulting in the deaths of 841 medical personnel.
Chemical Weapons Attacks
Since 2013 when multiple chemical gas attacks occurred in Aleppo, Idleb, and in the outskirts of Damascus, there has been at least 1 chemical attack reported every year in Syria, with the most recent occurring in Khan Shaykun in April 2017. These attacks create urgent, large-scale health crises that local health facilities are often unequipped to deal with. Obtaining much-needed medical equipment and medication becomes an overwhelming burden for healthcare providers trying to save the lives of the most vulnerable affected.