Toronto, A few hours ago, at 12:15 pm Damascus time, the Al Maghara (Dr. Hassan Al Araj) Cave Hospital in Kafr Zita, Hama was hit by five missiles from an airstrike. The hospital, built under 60 feet of rock, suffered extensive damage. The pharmacy was destroyed and there was extensive damage to the emergency department, which UOSSM supports, and ambulances. There were minor injuries and no casualties reported. The facility was put out of service. The hospital serves a population of 50,000 people, has 7,000 beneficiaries a month and performs roughly 150 major surgeries a month.
The hospital was previously hit by three airstrikes in 2018; on January 30, January 5, January 2. The hospital was built under 60 ft. of rock to protect it from airstrikes and is considered one of the most structurally fortified hospitals in all of Syria. Damaging the structure to this extent is only possible through advanced weapons/ bunker buster missiles.
In addition, there was a reported chlorine gas attack in Douma, Ghouta at 5:30 a.m Damascus time, injuring ten including one Syrian Civil Defense (White Helmet) emergency responder. Women and children were among the victims. The victims smelled like chlorine and were having difficulty breathing, indicative of chlorine gas. This was the third chemical attack in Douma in 2018.
“With the sophistication of weapons used, there is no doubt that hospitals are being intentionally targeted and destroyed. Can you imagine the kind of weapon it would take to cause this level of damage under 60 feet of solid rock? This facility alone has been attacked four times in 2018. Over the years, hundreds of hospitals and medical facilities have been bombed while the international community turns a blind eye. For this to stop, perpetrators of these crimes must be held accountable for war crimes, which are very clearly spelled out under international law. The use of chemical weapons is also horrifying and has happened countless times in Syria without any recourse.“Said Dr. Ghanem Tayara, Chairman of UOSSM International and Bristol GP.
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