Intensified Military Campaign in Syria with Targeted Attacks on Healthcare and Medical Services

A heavy military campaign targeting areas in northern rural Hama and southern Idlib has intensified considerably during the past week. The military campaign has seen at least 77 civilians killed and over 150,000 IDPs displaced in the past seven days.

Six medical facilities were bombed and put out of service this week, and more hospitals and schools have suspended operations. We have received news of the targeting of a medical worker in northern Hama where a missile was fired at a vehicle carrying the medical worker and his relative, killing the former and wounding the latter.

It must be noted that there are over 3.5 million people in Northwestern Syria including 450,000 people living in refugee camps. In the last week an approximate total of 270,000 people have been displaced from the Hama and Idlib countrysides, with speculation that this number will increase significantly.

Dr. Mahmoud Al-Hamidh, Head of the Surgical Department at SEMA sponsored Kiwan Hospital in Jabal al-Zawiyeh clarified that: “There is intense shelling on all villages in Southern Idlib and Jabal al-Zawiyeh. Kiwan (hospital) is accepting a massive number of injuries from people all over the targeted area, and are currently facing two major problems, the first being a massive lack in medical resources; the second being unable to refer people as many roads are being bombed and thus people either cannot reach emergency services, or mobile emergency services can’t reach them.”

Turkey Director at SEMA, Dr. Abdulhannan Aljouja, states: “Our main concern is the accessibility of health care for civilians in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib, as well as the safeguarding of the IDPs as they increase in number each hour. The intensified attacks place an immediate risk on the lives of 300,000 civilians across the targeted areas of the Hama and Idlib countrysides.”

At SEMA International we urge the concerned UN agencies and the international community to implement resolution 2286 for the protection of medical facilities, as well as taking the necessary steps to reduce the risks facing the civilians in those areas, of death, injury and displacement.