Toronto, Ontario- On the morning of February 19, a fierce bombardment began in civilian areas of eastern Ghouta, with at least 72 airstrikes. 97 civilians have been killed and over 500 wounded in 24 hours and the number is set to climb, as many may still be buried under the rubble. Five hospitals were bombed and put out of service and all area hospitals are out of service due to the attacks.
The Al Marj hospital was attacked by three barrel bombs, completely destroying the hospital and putting it out of service. One anesthesia technician was killed, one patient was killed, and several others were wounded. The Saqba Hospital, Saqba Maternity Hospital and Al Hayat Hospitals were also attacked and put out of service. Another area hospital in Douma and an ambulance were also attacked.
Dr. Asem,a doctor in Ghouta said, “The situation is catastrophic, people have nowhere to turn. They are trying to survive but their hunger from the siege has weakened them significantly.”
“This could be one of the worst attacks in Syrian history, even worse than the siege on Aleppo. The sheer intensity of airstrikes is leveling the city, and killing civilians without any regard or mercy. Medicine and medical supplies have not been allowed into the city for months now, and there is virtually no medical care available for these people as they suffer severe trauma wounds. To systematically target and kill civilians amounts to a war crime and the international community must act to stop it” Said Zedoun Al Zoebi, CEO of UOSSM International.
“Today is truly a nightmare for the people of Eastern Ghouta. I find it cruel and sickening that aid has not been allowed into Ghouta for months while the city has been relentlessly attacked. This disproportionately affects civilians, women and children and that is unacceptable. We support the heroic efforts of doctors on the ground who have been working non stop for the past five years, under extremely difficult conditions, to provide care and relief to the people of Ghouta.” Said Dr. Ghanem Tayara, Chairman of UOSSM International and a Birmingham UK GP
1) Join the global advocacy campaign on social media #BreakGhoutaSeige & #SaveEastGhouta .
2) Call, write and meet your local and national political leaders. Urge them to take actions to end the siege and open safe aid corridors into Eastern Ghouta for: medical aid, food supplies and the immediate medical evacuation of 600+ patients in critical condition.
3) Organize events and hold vigils on behalf of the people of Eastern Ghouta.
4) Write 'opinion editorials' to submit to your local media.
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