Toronto, ON - The Omar Bin Abdul Aziz Hospital In Aleppo was hit by a wave of artillery strikes hours ago and destroyed at 8:30 P.M. Damascus time. Casualties and injury numbers are unconfirmed but there are reports of staff and patients trapped in the rubble.
Four hospitals were closed today in Aleppo after heavy airstrikes and bombings damaged the facilities leaving East Aleppo without any major operating hospitals (confirmed by the Aleppo Health Directorate). Aleppo is totally besieged, civilians and aid workers are terrified of an impending genocide.
The first hospital, a pediatric hospital was hit for a second time in three days. The video emerged from an Al-Jazeera reporter, Omar Al Halabi, as he was inside the hospital filming patients being treated for a suspected chlorine attack from nearby Hanano neighborhood. The hospital was attacked as the report was being filmed, the chaotic scene was caught on video. Two nurses were removing premature babies from neonatal units and burst into tears from distress. According to the Turkey Health Cluster the hospital provided 3812 consultations and 300 admissions per month.
Another hospital was attacked for the third time in three days putting it out of service. According to the Turkey Health Cluster the hospital provided 3209 consultations, 369 admissions and 137 major surgeries a month.
There are reports, unverified by UOSSM, that 12 civilians with symptoms consistent with chlorine inhalation have been injured in the Hanano neighbourhood as six barrel bombs were dropped containing choking agents suspected to be chlorine gas.
Yesterday another hospital was attacked. The facility was moderately damaged and shut down. According to the Turkey Health Cluster the hospital provided 3000 consultations, 194 admissions, and 454 major surgeries per month.
This comes in light of the quickly deteriorating situation in Eastern Aleppo as medical care and supplies are running extremely low. Local authorities are pleading with the UN and welcome any immediate airdrop or convoy of aid including medications, food and aid.
In the past ten days alone at least 12 hospitals and medical facilities have been attacked, two medical staff have been killed and 16 medical personnel, including doctors and nurses, have been injured. UOSSM condemns in the strongest possible terms the systematic and deliberate eradication of health care facilities in Aleppo and Syria.
"There have been 5 brutal years of hospital attacks, medical worker torture and assisnation in Syria without even a hint of holding perpetrators accountable for war crimes under International Humanitarian Law. The laws are crystal clear and evidence damning for these violations. The international community must act now to protect what little is left of the medical infrastructure in Syria." Said Dr. Anas Al Kassem, Surgeon and Chairman Of UOSSM Canada
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*Hospital names are concealed for the protection of the staff and facility.
Since March 2011, UOSSM in collaboration with other NGO's have documented 490 separate attacks against medical facilities in Syria claiming the lives of 765 medical personnel. This includes 225 doctors, 134 medics and 158 nurses. In 2016, 128 facilities were attacked and 63 medical personnel killed, not to mention the scores more who have been maimed, wounded or undocumented. From March 2011 to November 18 2016, there have been 121 attacks against medical facilities in Aleppo .
*Given the extreme challenges of collecting data in the field, the data does not include attacks which UOSSM was unable to verify. There have been significantly more attacks on medical facilities which have gone unreported.
Hospital Attack Video: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1oIZsVkfBsxTjExSmNVVTh5ck0/view?usp=sh...
About UOSSM :
UOSSM (Union des Organisations de Secours et Soins Médicaux) provides free medical aid to the people of Syria regardless of nationality, ethnicity, gender, religion or political affiliation. UOSSM international, founded by Syrian Doctors around the world, started in 2012 and operates 12 major hospitals and supports 120 clinics inside Syria. UOSSM has performed over 1,000,000 medical treatments inside Syria since inception.