New York, NY, October 7, 2016 — Two hospitals supported by the IRC in Syria have been destroyed by air strikes over the past week. Khan Elshih hospital in western Ghouta, south of Damascus, was destroyed on Wednesday (5 October) and the 'M10' trauma hospital in besieged eastern Aleppo was destroyed on Monday afternoon (3 Oct).
The air attacks on Khan Elshih hospital destroyed the main building resulting in the deaths of two patients and injuring two hospital guards. Staff and facilities at Khan Elshih hospital were transferred to another pre-prepared location. The hospital had been previously attacked in May.
The attack on 'M10' killed three maintenance workers and injured a nurse and ambulance driver. This was the fourth attack against the 'M10' hospital in a single week, and the eighth since July.
The loss of 'M10' hospital means that only five medical facilities remain operational in besieged eastern Aleppo, home to 300,000 civilians, including 85,000 children. There are only 29 doctors left in eastern Aleppo to treat the sick and wounded.
Day after day, the world watches on as hospitals, medical staff and aid workers are killed with impunity in Syria. An attack on a hospital is an attack on the tens of thousands of civilians who rely on its medical care to keep them alive. Until the international community is able to hold those responsible for these abuses to account then there is nothing that can be done to protect civilians in Syria
-Mark Schnellbaecher, Director of the International Rescue Committee's Syria Regional Response
The destruction of these two hospitals is only the latest in a series of attacks against IRC-supported health facilities in Syria in 2016. In September, an IRC-supported facility in Quneitra was forced to relocate after it was badly damaged. In late July, an airstrike on an IRC-supported hospitals in Dara'a killed six people and wounded many more. In February, two IRC-supported medical facilities in Idlib governate and two supported clinics in Dara'a were attacked, resulting in the deaths of 26 medical workers and patients.
More than 750 medical workers have been killed in the Syrian conflict. Since February 2014 there have been around 400 attacks on medical facilities. In July of this year a hospital was attacked every 17 hours.
The IRC, working with its partners, supports more than 70 health facilities across Syria and is the largest supporter of healthcare in Southern Syria delivering medicine as well as medical supplies. In 2015, nearly 2,000 IRC workers helped more than 1.4 million Syrians inside their country.