Russia, Syrian regime stepping up attacks on Idlib hospitals

Russia, Syrian regime stepping up attacks on Idlib hospitals
2 min read
29 April, 2017
Russian and Syrian warplanes bombed eleven medical facilities in the rebel-held province of Idlib in April, according to local media sources.

Syria's Civil Defence volunteers bringing a patient to Deir Sharqi hospital in Idlib province [Anadolu]

Russian and Syrian warplanes bombed eleven medical facilities in the rebel-held province of Idlib in April, according to local media sources.

Russian planes reportedly killed dozens of civilians while bombing three hospitals on Wednesday alone, according to the Syrian National Coalition, an umbrella organisation of opposition groups.

"Several Russian air raids have destroyed most of an obstetrics hospital in Kafr Takharim - the seventh hospital in Idlib province to be put out of the service in less than a month," said the Syrian Commission for Media, an independent media group receiving foreign financing.

Russian and Syrian regime warplanes have greatly accelerated their bombing campaign in Idlib since the start of 2017.

An investigation by the London-based monitoring group Airwars, showed that 120 civilians were killed in airstrikes by mid-April, compared with 60 "civilian casualty incidents" in March.

The effects of targeting hospitals are being directly targeted at Syria's civilian population. It is very difficult for most people to receive hospital treatment for war injuries and the prices of medicine has also gone up.

Syrian rocket attacks in the town of Talbiseh, north of Homs on Friday caused two children to die at the local hospital after they were not seen in time.

"Two of the children who died yesterday arrived at the hospital, while 2 others were seriously injured," Abu Khaled al-Harous, a medical officer at the Telbessa Central Hospital told The New Arab.

Read moreRaqqa: Civilians under fire with no access to healthcare

A video purporting to show a hospital in Deir Sharqi, a village in Idlib near Maarrat al-Numan

"We could not offer them anything. They died after about half an hour."

Harous said the hospital is under increased pressure as it is having to take in admissions from the surrounding area as other clinics and hospitals have been forced to close.

"We have a good number of medical staff working in the hospital, but we need more surgical specialists and eye doctors."

A March report showed that routine attacks on hospitals made Syria one of the most dangerous locations in the world to work as a health worker.

By March 2017, a total of 814 healthcare professionals had been killed since the start of the war.

The effects of targeting healthcare provision has led to broader public health problems.

In East Aleppo, fighting prevented an anti-measles campaign by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in October during an outbreak - causing the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of young children over the winter.