The targeting of medical facilities and personnel in Syria by government forces and Russian warplanes has been regarded by many as unprecendented in modern human history. Not only hospitals are being destroyed as a result of bombings and barrel bombs, but health facilities, ambulances and medical staff are also deliberately targeted. Earlier this year, Eastern Aleppo City lost its last pediatrician. In the past few days, hospitals in Aleppo have been so repeatedly attacked by intense govenrment airstrikes that local sources say hospitals are no longer functioning. Read the message of Dr. Salem from Aleppo and show your support! The letter is available in several languages below.
A hospital in Aleppo is the most dangerous place in the world.
Dr. Salem, who is currently in besieged east Aleppo City, pleas in a statement released a few days ago:
“I am required to stay safe in the most dangerous city in the world. They tell me to ‘take care’, as if I am driving a car and need to drive safe. I would rather they tell the warplanes planes not to bomb us. I would rather they tell that pilot not to drop missiles. I would rather they tell that rocket not to explode. I would rather they speak out loud, and fill the world with their screams, condemning the war and those who wage it.”
Hospitals are being destroyed by Syrian government and Russian warplanes across Syria. A hospital is targeted every 17 hours. A health worker is murdered every 63 hours. In the past 144 days, there have been 143 attacks on medical facilities and personnel. More than a third occurred in besieged Aleppo, and all were perpetrated by the Syrian government and its allies.
These hospitals are deliberately targeted, according to reports by the UN’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic. Attacking a hospital decimates the neighborhoods depending on its services.
Doctors prioritize the lives of their patients above their own safety. They continue to serve regardless of how unsafe the hospitals are and how scarce their resources are. To be a medical worker in Syria, saving the lives of anyone in need regardless of background or political views, is the most honorable yet dangerous job in the world. We must honor their service and strive to meet them halfway.
We ask you to take action for the sake of the doctors and medical staff who are risking their lives to save others, for the sake of the humanitarians who lost their lives in the process, for those who are living up to the medical oath they took towards humanity. We ask you to take action, as fellow doctors and medical workers.
Show your solidarity with Syria’s doctors and medical personnel. Here is how you can do so:
– Take a 30 minute strike, on Friday, November 25, at 4:00 pm Syria-time (9:00 am EST – USA / 2:00 pm GMT).
– Take a photo with a sign displaying your message of support. Post it on social media with the hashtags #NeverAgainIsNow and #SaveSyriasMedics.
– Tell your fellow healthcare colleagues, neighbors, patients, friends, and anyone in your networks that these doctors deserve our attention, respect, and support.
– Most importantly, call your elected officials and demand that hospitals in Syria, which are neutral, protected spaces under international humanitarian law, be treated as such and for the perpetrators of attacks against the medical community to be held accountable.
Targeting a hospital is a war crime. Let us show the world that hospitals and doctors should not be targets in anyone’s war. Our integrity as an international community that believes in humanitarian principles rests on this moment. We cannot stand by while war crimes are committed again and again, while the world watches idly. #NeverAgainIsNow