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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Incubators for newborns shut down after airstrikes hit Idlib hospitals

Medical facilities across the besieged province were attacked on Sunday and Monday

Several medical facilities in Syria's Idlib province have been hit by airstrikes. Omar Haj Kadour/ AFP Photo
Several medical facilities in Syria's Idlib province have been hit by airstrikes. Omar Haj Kadour/ AFP Photo

Air strikes on rebel-held Idlib province caused loss of power in medical facilities, shutting newborn babies’ incubators, the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organisations (UOSSM) said.

Heavy bombardment, as well as a reported chlorine gas attack by forces loyal to the government of President Bashar Al Assad have left thousands in the besieged area without medical care.

The UOSSM, a France-based humanitarian NGO, said several people were injured, including a technician and patients when the Kafr Nabol Surgical Hospital was hit three times on Monday.

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Nearby Maarat Al Nouman Central Hospital was attacked by four airstrikes on Sunday evening, putting medical facilities out of service. The UOSSM reported that several newborn babies “temporarily suffocated” when their incubators lost power.

The Tal Mardeekh Healthcare Centre, in Idlib, was also attacked and put out of service.

A reported chemical attack in Saraqeb, Idlib left 17 people injured, including three members of the Syrian Civil Defence, known as the White Helmets, which works in rebel-held areas.

In January 2018 seven medical staff were killed, and 30 medical facilities, including nine ambulances, were attacked, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights.

“2018 is proving to be a horrifying year for doctors in Syria. We are averaging almost one attack every 24 hours,” said Dr Ghanem Tayara, chairman of UOSSM International, a GP and member of a number of British-Syrian medical groups.

“These attacks are clear war crimes and have been going on for the past six years. It is truly cruel and despicable that doctors are terrorised while trying to treat the sick and dying.

“2018 has also seen the widespread use of chlorine gas against civilians. The world is turning a blind eye to these atrocities, and with that, any hope of justice and decency is lost,” said Dr Tayara.

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