“Working in a field hospital is like death,” a surgeon told us two weeks ago in Turkey, where more than two dozen Syrian doctors and other health workers had come for training. As if treating victims of the Syrian Army’s weapon of choice, the barrel bomb, wasn’t enough, they themselves were often victims of those same terrible devices.
International law is supposed to protect health workers treating anyone who is sick or wounded. Not in Syria: There, along with bakeries and schools, one of the most dangerous places to be is in a hospital or an ambulance. According to Physicians for Human Rights, more than 560 medical personnel have been killed and 155 medical facilities have been attacked since the conflict began, though based on our interviews these numbers are understated.
From the start of the war, the regime of Bashar al-Assad has attacked civilians and obstructed humanitarian relief, including vaccinations for children. It has cut off electricity and clean water to areas controlled by the opposition, punished health workers treating protesters and opposition fighters, and deployed chemical weapons against defenseless fellow Syrians.
The full article continues at: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/20/opinion/in-syria-doctors-become-the-victims.html