Underground Hospital Wrecked in Worst Attack on Medical Facilities in Syrian War History

ICC Note:

A hospital considered to be the most secure in Syria, as it was built under 60 feet of rock, has been wrecked by an airstrike in what is considered the worst attack on Syrian hospitals. This particular hospital is located at the intersection of four areas where, throughout the course of the war, Christians have either been displaced from en mass or moved to following their displacement. The hospital served a population of 50,000 people and performed an estimated 150 major surgery operations a month. The hospital was the last chance of life saving health care for many Syrians. Christians are especially in need of access to medical care as they are often targeted by all sides of the conflict because they are viewed as expendable resources.


02/02/2018 Syria (BBC) –  A hospital built under 20m (60 feet) of rock in a rebel-held part of central Syria has been wrecked by a powerful air strike, medical sources say.

They say the hospital in Hama province – regarded as one of the best protected in the country – was put out of service by Thursday’s strike.

No casualties are reported but aid workers say it is the worst in a wave of attacks against hospitals in Syria.

Meanwhile the UN says aid is no longer getting through to besieged areas.

It is not clear who carried out the latest strike, but Syrian government warplanes or those of its ally Russia have been stepping up attacks in rebel-held areas.

Both Syria and Russia have consistently denied targeting civilians.

The Al Maghara cave hospital in the town of Kafr Zita was hit by five missiles in Thursday’s strike, says the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations (UOSSM), an international coalition of medical charities.

“It’s widely believed to be the most secure hospital in Syria,” UOSSM spokesman Avi D’Souza told the BBC.

Mr D’Souza said the reason there were no deaths seemed to be that staff and patients were evacuated to a safe room when they heard incoming jets.

The group says the facility – which serves a population of 50,000 people and performs about 150 major surgery procedures a month – suffered extensive damage.

Causing such damage is only possible through advanced weapons, such as bunker-buster missiles, the UOSSM added.

“This is the most serious attack in a larger campaign against hospitals,” Mr D’Souza said.

The group recorded 14 strikes against medical facilities in Syria in January alone.

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