UOSSM staff killed, Syrian Doctors plead for help in Daraa
Yusuf Ayyash, a UOSSM (Union of Medical Care & Relief Organizations) warehouse worker was killed today (Wednesday, June 27, 2018) at 7 p.m. Damascus time by an airstrike, along with his wife and daughter. This is the third UOSSM staff member to be killed in Daraa in less than a week.
As the besiegement of Daraa escalates, four hospitals and one primary health care center were attacked and put out of service. Nearly 60,000 people have been displaced by the violence since June 19 and have nowhere to turn after Jordan closed its borders and the western suburbs wenDaraa, t under siege.
The Al-Mseifra Hospital suffered extensive damage after three airstrikes. Saida Hospital, Al Harak Hospital, Al Jiza Hospital and Basr Al-Harir PHC were also bombed and put out of service in addition to reports of two Syrian Civil Defense Centers (White Helmets) being attacked.
Five medical staff have been killed (three staff from UOSSM) and at least 60 civilians were killed since June 19th.
“I am now in one of the hospitals in Daraa. The situation is catastrophic. There is a large number of wounded victims in hospitals, most of them are injuries in the limbs as a result of shrapnel and cluster bombs, in which civilians are getting targeted directly. Some of the wounded victims were evacuated to the western and southern areas of Daraa with neurological and eye injuries; we do not have adequate equipment to treat these injuries.” said Dr. Bahaa Mahameed , UOSSM Doctor in Daraa.
Dr. Ghanem Tayara, UOSSM Chairman and Birmingham UK GP said, “We have to bury yet another brave staff member today, bringing the toll to three staff deaths in less than a week. My heart goes out to the Ayyash family and we are all overcome with sadness. Yusuf was loved by staff and he will be dearly missed. Abdulhadi, our ambulance driver left behind five children when he was killed two days ago. Maysoun, a UOSSM midwife was killed six days ago along with her daughter, while her other daughter was severely injured. The perpetrators of these acts should be disgusted with themselves and what they have become.”
UOSSM condemns the targeting of civilians and medical facilities. In the strongest terms, UOSSM urges all parties to honor the terms of the de-escalation agreement and the deconfliction of medical facilities, meant to identify and protect hospitals.
UOSSM asks for humanitarian corridors to be opened to Daraa and monitored by international observers to allow safe passage for internally displaced persons.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia as the Special US Correspondent for the Arab News at www.ArabNews.com, the TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
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