The conflict in Syria is an escalating humanitarian and public health catastrophe. Civilians are currently caught between two armed factions: the Syrian military loyal to the government of President Bashar al-Assad and the Free Syrian Army opposition. According to the UN, the 2-year long conflict has already resulted in an estimated 60000 civilian casualties and tens of thousands injured. As if the direct effects of military force on Syrians were not enough, there has also been a full-scale assault on the health infrastructure. Even if Syrians are able to reach health facilities, which they often cannot because of ground fighting and erratic and unsafe transport, government forces have targeted health-care facilities, health workers, and patients intentionally, as described by independent observers such as Physicians for Human Rights, Amnesty International, and Médecins Sans Frontières.
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