Reports

Aleppo: more than eighty percent of hospitals out of service after airstrikes

Russian airstrikes knocked six hospitals and clinics out of service in the rebel-held district of al-Shaar in Aleppo city on Sunday. 

“As a result of intense, unprecedented bombardment on the city, and targeting of infrastructure and services, all the following hospitals were knocked out of service: al-Bayan, al-Daqaq, al-Seyyeda al-Zahrah, the Central Blood Bank, al-Hakeem Hospital, and al-Tababa al-Sharaiya,” the Aleppo Health Directorate said in a statement.

Russian and Syrian bombardment of the city has intensified after regime forces cut off the Castello Road at the end of June, civilians’ last lifeline in rebel-held areas of Aleppo. Around 400,000 civilians live in opposition-controlled districts in the east and south of the city, a local source who preferred anonymity told the Syrian Voice.

“The bombings hit a complex of civilian hospitals inside the al-Shaar district, located in the eastern part of Aleppo,” Dr. Marwan al-Radwan, head of the al-Bayyan Surgery Hospital, told the Syrian Voice.

“There were more than five airstrikes that used vacuum missiles that knocked the hospitals completely out of service,” added Dr. al-Radwan.

“The hospitals that were knocked offline include: the only children’s surgery hospital in Aleppo city; the al-Seyyeda al-Zahraa Hospital that specializes in women’s illnesses and surgery; the al-Bayyan Surgery Hospital where general surgeries are performed in addition to orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery and vascular surgery; and al-Daqaq Hospital that specialized in general surgery, in addition to the blood bank that was targeted at a previous date,” he added.

“The surgery hospitals that were knocked out of service provided care to more than 200,000 civilians from 30 neighborhoods, out of a total of 400,000 civilians in 63 neighborhoods under opposition control in Aleppo.”

“Besieged areas in Aleppo city have been living through tough conditions for the past 28 days, to say nothing of a deterioration in the medical sector after more than 80 percent of hospitals were knocked out of service. What’s happening in Aleppo is being seen by the world, but has been met with a deafening global silence, and the international community is turning a blind eye to international laws that label these types of attacks as war crimes,” said Dr. al-Radwan.

Faisal al-Majeed, a civilian in Aleppo city, told the Syrian Voice that, “my son is seven years old, and has had Thalassemia for four years, and needs monthly blood transfusions. After the blood bank was knocked out of service, his life is now in danger because we can’t go through with his routine transfusion.”

“He’s one case of more than 20 kids who I would meet in the blood bank when I took my son for transfusions. All of these patients are now in danger, and I don’t know the number of children who have this disease in Aleppo city.”

Abu al-Majed al-Halabi, a hospital worker at al-Daqaq, told the Syrian Voice that, “the surgery hospitals that were knocked out of service were treating hundreds of patients and wounded people every day, for free. These hospitals also provided medical testing in their labs.”

“The children’s hospital was the only one left in areas under opposition control. It included incubators for newborns, and would care for around ten premature babies a day. Since it was knocked out of service, there will certainly be deaths among newborn infants.”

The Aleppo Health Directorate’s announcement on Sunday warned of a humanitarian catastrophe that threatens more than 350,000 civilians inside the city. It said that what is going on in the city amounts to catastrophic, mass extermination.

Aleppo city is not the only area whose critical facilities have been struck by bombardment. Atarib city in Aleppo, one of the largest cities in the western Aleppo countryside, was hit by 26 airstrikes in a single hour, some of which targeted the Civil Hospital, destroying the operations room and a number of other buildings, according to the Syrian Voice’s Aleppo correspondent.

The bombing in Atarib killed more than 16 civilians, in addition to injuring 25 more.

Warplanes continue to strike Aleppo city, and killed and wounded dozens of civilians, in addition to damaging vital infrastructure, on Monday.

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حسين الخطاب

مراسل صحفي في ريف حلب، درس في جامعة بيروت العربية، وعاد إلى سوريا مع اندلاع الثورة السورية لينخرط في النشاط الإعلامي، عمل كمراسل ومصور مستقل في سوريا.

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