Syrian fighter bombers hit another medical center
Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) reports the Al-Zerbeh Primary Healthcare Center destroyed by airstrike; 4th attack on Health in 3 Days. Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations (UOSSM) reports three strikes on health centers in Syria.
Al-Zerbeh Primary Health Center was directly targeted on Friday August 29, 2019, according to SAMS by an air-to-surface missile that completely destroyed the facility, rendering it out of service. While, no one was in the facility at the time of the attack, a child who was approximately 50km from the center was killed and several other civilians were injured.
This attack is the latest in a series of over 40 attacks on healthcare facilities since the conflict escalated in northwest Syria on April 26th, 2019. Yesterday’s airstrike on Al-Zerbeh Primary Health Center marks five attacks on health in the past three days alone. Three days ago, Al-Salam Maternity Hospital in Ma’aret al-Numan was targeted, and the night before that, Al-Ghadfeh hospital was attacked. At the same time as the airstrike on Al-Zerbeh Primary Health Center yesterday, Al-Tah Comprehensive Primary Health Center was also targeted. Later that evening, Al-Ayman Hospital was targeted multiple times.
SAMS has supported Al-Zerbeh Primary Health Center in southern Aleppo governorate since early 2017. The center serves an average of over 2,500 patients per month. In May 2018, the facility participated in the UNOCHA-led deconfliction mechanism of sharing coordinates with parties to the conflict to reduce the risk of unintentional targeting. Despite participating in the mechanism, this is the second attack on the center since the beginning of the escalation. Attacks on healthcare have continued without any accountability, while health workers and their patients bear the brunt of the impact.
SAMS strongly condemns all attacks on health, and calls on the UN and international community to investigate these egregious violations of international humanitarian law and provide protection and support to healthcare facilities under attack. Further, the Secretary General should proceed with urgency in appointing the Board of Inquiry, and work must begin immediately to investigate these attacks.
The Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations also reported a series of Syrian fightewr jet bombings, hitting three facilites:
- At least 892 civilians have been killed including at least 226 children and 179 women.
- Over 1912 civilians have been injured.
- Over 750,000 people have been internally displaced in North Western Syria.
- 50 medical facilities have been bombed, 30 aid workers have been killed and 40 have been wounded.
- Five ambulances were hit by different airstrikes while serving patients, killing eight staff.
- Eight water facilities were destroyed.
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.
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. He began writing in 1975 publishing The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues as Special US Correspondent for the Arab News ArabNews.com, at TheArabDailyNews.com, and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday, the Orlando Sentinel, Houston Chronical, and Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
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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