Cologne/Idlib. On Wednesday, Kafr Nobl Surgical Hospital, supported by Malteser International and run by Hand in Hand for Aid and Development in Idlib Governorate of Syria was targeted by airstrikes. Fortunately, no casualties were reported among the medical staff and patients.
Janine Lietmeyer, Head of Malteser International’s Middle East Program, said: “We are shocked and appalled by this horrific attack, yet relieved that no patients or staff were harmed. These multiple attacks on health facilities and other civil infrastructure are further undermining the ceasefire agreement in Idlib. It is unacceptable that the civilian population and humanitarian workers are living under constant threat.”
The hospital’s main and only entrance sustained severe damage, and medical activities are currently suspended.
Health facilities in Idlib have again come under increasing attack as part of the ongoing offensive in the region. Five medical facilities have been bombed since Tuesday alone, including a pediatric and maternity clinic. Wednesday‘s bombing marks the fourth attack on Kafr Nobol Hospital this year, despite being verified under the United Nation’s de-confliction mechanism.
“The hospital is one of the last remaining operational surgical facilities in southwestern Idlib, delivering life-saving aid to sick and injured persons,” said Fadi Aldairi, Country Director of Hand in Hand for Aid and Development. “Our thoughts are with those who were inside the hospital at the time of the incident and had to go through the trauma of being trapped inside the facility. We are working to get the hospital back into operation as soon as we can. For the meantime, vulnerable people in the area are now without much-needed medical care. We urge all parties to the conflict to respect International Humanitarian Law and protect medical facilities, staff and civilians.”
The conflict in Syria, which began in the spring of 2011, has become one of the most brutal wars in recent decades, and the latest attacks in Idlib are worsening an already dire humanitarian situation, with hundreds killed and hundreds of thousands displaced. Since 2012, Malteser International has been working together with partner organizations like Hand in Hand for Aid and Development to provide medical care and to respond to acute humanitarian needs.
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Janine Lietmeyer, Head of Malteser International’s Middle East Program, is available for interviews.
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