Amnesty International accused Syrian and Russian forces of deliberately and systematically targeting hospitals and other medicals facilities over the last three months to pave the way for ground forces to advance on northern Aleppo.

Evidence has been gathered by the organization of at least six deliberate attacks on hospitals, medical centres and clinics in northern Aleppo in the past 12 weeks. Other centers for medical care are struggling to take care of the thousands in need for assistance due to the escalating airstrikes in the area.


“Syrian and Russian forces have been deliberately attacking health facilities in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law. But what is truly egregious is that wiping out hospitals appears to have become part of their military strategy,” said Tirana Hassan, Crisis Response Director at Amnesty International.

The accusation came after an examination of the airstrikes by the organization. The latest string of attacks on health facilities near the once largest city in the country appears to be part of a pattern of attacks on medics and hospitals, a strategy that has destroyed scores of medical facilities and killed hundreds, commented Hassan.

People interviewed for the organization have said that there were no military vehicles, checkpoints, fighters or front lines near the hospitals that were for attack, they were exclusively fulfilling their humanitarian function, according to the statement release by Amnesty International.

The organization have repeatedly called on the Syrian and Russian governments to abide international humanitarian law and have urged Russia to conduct credible, independent investigation into its forces’ attacks on hospitals and other serious violation, added Hassan.

Overwhelming reports

Even though Amnesty International have gathered many claims, it has only focused on six attacks between December 2015 and February 2016 in the conflicted area. The Syrian Network for Humans Rights, a local monitoring group, have said that at least 27 hospital were targeted by Russian and Syrian government’s forces since September 2015.

The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) also came forward and told the organization that since December 2015 at least 13 hospital had been targeted in Aleppo by the airstrikes and one by a surface-to-surface missile on February 15. The 14 attacks left a total of four medical staff workers and 45 civilians killed.

Among others reports, Physicians for Human Rights also had something to say about the bombings. They reported that since the conflict began, at least 346 attacks on medical facilities have been carried out by parties to the conflict, which left 705 health workers killed.

Source: Amnesty International