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Opinion | In Syria, Even the Hospitals Are Not Safe

Opinion | In Syria, Even the Hospitals Are Not Safe

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  • Excellent article shedding some much-needed light on the ongoing, brutal Syrian civil war. The bloody war has largely dropped out of the mainstream media’s attention now that ISIS has been dismantled— but ISIS was only a small piece of a much larger conflict that has raged for nearly 8 years and shows

    Excellent article shedding some much-needed light on the ongoing, brutal Syrian civil war. The bloody war has largely dropped out of the mainstream media’s attention now that ISIS has been dismantled— but ISIS was only a small piece of a much larger conflict that has raged for nearly 8 years and shows no signs of ending anytime soon.

    “President Assad says that the attacks are necessary because terrorists use hospitals as arms depots (an unfounded claim); he also says that most of the bombs that do hit hospitals are errant.

    But Susannah Sirkin, the policy director of Physicians for Human Rights, believes that the bombings are systematic, amounting to crimes against humanity. She says that since 2011, her organization has documented 566 individual attacks on about 350 Syrian health care facilities. More than 890 medical personnel have been killed, some in attacks on the medical facilities where they worked.

    What explains such an extensive and cruel campaign? In President Assad’s mind, somewhere along the line, ‘opposition’ became a synonym for ‘civilians,’ many of whom don’t support either side but just want to stay alive. The most threatening way you can terrorize a population is to bomb hospitals and kill doctors....

    By killing doctors, the Assad regime and its Russian allies destroy further evidence — and witnesses. ... Many rescue workers record their work — the famed White Helmets attach cameras to their bodies to document an attack and their response. As they get to work, though, another round of bombing begins, aiming to kill the very workers trying to save the victims of the original attack.”