Syria: UN aid officials urge end to airstrikes on hospitals

Two senior United Nations humanitarian officials Wednesday called for an end to airstrikes on hospitals, following reports that attacks damaged hospitals in northern Syria.

“It is completely unacceptable that facilities and people who are trying to save lives are being bombed,” Kevin Kennedy, Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, said in a joint statement with Ali Al-Za’tari, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria.

“The persistent and unceasing attacks on hospitals and medical facilities are one of the most egregious features of this war and have taken the lives of hundreds of medical personnel and deprived people in need of their most fundamental human right- the right to life. It must stop,” Kevin Kennedy added.

Ali Al-Za’tari called for “the parties to the conflict to abide by their obligation under international humanitarian and human rights law to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure such as hospitals.”

The UN community is appalled by the ongoing damage and destruction of medical facilities in northern Syria, depriving hundreds of thousands of people of basic health services, they said.

According to the statement, several airstrikes impacting medical facilities were reported in April alone in Northern Syria, including a hospital specializing in maternal and child care. Almost all facilities were rendered out of service as a result.

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