Health workers and facilities were under attack in conflicts in at least 23 countries in 2016, and the perpetrators are getting away with it, according to a new report from the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition.
A pair of airstrikes hit near a hospital in the Syrian city of Idlib, damaging the facility, Save the Children officials said. There were no fatalities at the hospital from the attack – the twelfth attack on a health facility in April.
The decision to attack an airbase in Syria in response to chemical attacks on civilians represents a shift in U.S. policy toward the civil war. That shift – driven by horrific images of victims – should mean that the Trump administration is ready to do more to help Syrians, aid groups said.
The U.S. admitted over the weekend that the military coalition it leads in Iraq was responsible for recent airstrikes in Mosul that killed more than 100 civilians.
A record number of children were killed in Syria last year, more than a third of them in or near a school, the U.N. children’s agency said ahead of the sixth anniversary of the war. More than 850 children were also recruited to fight – more than double the number in 2015 – with some used as executioners and suicide bombers, UNICEF said.
Activists accuse Syria of war crimes. The government denies the accusation. We saw this dance happen again this week, where activists level an accusation and the Assad regime side-steps with denial. In the latest accusation, Human Rights Watch said that the military used chemical weapons on Aleppo late last year. The report stated that in eight attacks that violated international rules of war, at least nine people died and hundreds were injured. Syrian officials denied the accusation, telling Agence France-Presse that the report was “unprofessional and unscientific.”
The two-week-old cease-fire in Syria has allowed aid groups to reach some areas, but cities under siege by government forces remain cut off from help, officials from Save the Children said on Friday. U.N. agency leaders echoed that concern in a joint statement today.
Advancing Syrian forces are on the brink of retaking Aleppo from rebels. The U.N. reported that Syrian forces are entering homes and killing those inside – including women and children. One U.N. official described it as “a complete meltdown of humanity,” according to the New York Times.
A senior U.N. official pleaded with the U.N. Security Council to immediately stop the Syrian government’s deadly assault on the city of Aleppo.
With food aid on the brink of running out, the people trapped in the Syrian city of Aleppo are facing water shortages after government forces attacked water points. And, winter is coming.