Syria

Attacking Health Care: A Common Denominator in Conflict

Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Although the government has denied attacking Fallujah General Hospital, the weapons used in the attacks – mortar shells, direct fire weapons, and barrel bombs – are consistent with Iraqi military equipment. In deliberately attacking the hospital, the government of Iraq has unfortunately followed the nefarious example of its Syrian neighbor. The conflicts in Syria and Iraq possess unique traits, but they share some underlying factors.

Assad Engineers His Re-election

Wednesday, June 4, 2014
The three-year-old civil war continues to rage, with its mounting toll of more than 160,000 people killed and millions displaced in Syria and neighboring countries. Undeterred by any sense of moral compass, Mr. Assad is flattening cities, blocking food aid from rebel-held areas and, according to Physicians for Human Rights, systematically attacking doctors and health care facilities, an especially heinous action that violates the norms of war and can constitute a crime against humanity under international law.

Health Workers, Patients Under Attack

Friday, May 16, 2014
(Geneva, May 16, 2014) – Hundreds of attacks on health workers have occurred in dozens of countries around the world since 2012, Human Rights Watch and the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition said in a joint report released today. The report, released in advance of a meeting on May 19 to 24, 2014, of health ministers from around the world, called on governments to do more to protect patients, health workers and facilities from attack in countries undergoing conflict and civil unrest. The 28-page report, “Under Attack: Violence against health workers, patients and facilities,” highlights recent attacks in countries around the world.

New Map Shows Government Forces Deliberately Attacking Syria's Medical System

Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Syrian forces have systematically attacked the health care system in opposition-held areas over the past three years, resulting in the death of more than 460 health professionals and widespread destruction to hospitals and clinics, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) said today as it launched an interactive map tracking these violations. PHR said government forces committed 90 percent of the confirmed 150 attacks on 124 facilities between March 2011 and March 2014, which have devastated the country’s health system.

Syria: New Barrel Bombs Hit Aleppo - Attacks Defy UN, Hit Medical Facilities

Tuesday, April 29, 2014
The Syrian government is indiscriminately striking civilians and civilian objects in Aleppo with unguided, high-explosive barrel bombs. The attacks continue despite a United Nations Security Council Resolution unanimously passed on February 22, 2014, demanding that all parties in Syria cease the indiscriminate use of barrel bombs and other weapons in populated areas. The UN will meet to discuss its second round of reporting on compliance with the resolution on April 30.

Protecting Health in Conflict

Friday, April 11, 2014
In 2009, while a fellow at the Center for Khmer Studies in Cambodia, I interviewed a pediatric nurse based at the Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap. Our conversation was short, but what I remember most about the encounter was my colleague’s answer to my question about why she had come to Cambodia in the first place. “Yes, I’m from Sri Lanka. But I’m in Cambodia now because I know what it’s like to live in conflict. Good health is important, especially for women and children. So I’m here because I understand the context and have the skills to help.”

Sometimes Laughter Is the Only Medicine

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
The severe lack of medical supplies in Syria has been well documented by both the media and humanitarian and human rights groups. Humanitarian missions are blocked, supply trucks are targeted for attack, and those attempting to move critical medical supplies into Syria put their lives at risk. There are insufficient supplies of nearly everything needed by doctors and their patients – everything except laughter.

Targeted for Doing Their Job: Doctors in Syria Forced to Flee

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Mohammed is one of 15,000 Syrian doctors who was forced out of his country, unable to continue treating the wounded in a bloody conflict that forced the United Nations to stop counting the dead. In late 2012, he was working as a field doctor in rural Damascus when he became the target of a brutal crackdown on those providing medical assistance to the injured in opposition-held areas.

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