February 28, 2024

Syrian government “systematically targets” medical personnel

The Syrian government has been systematically targeting medical personnel, according to a damning new report.

In September last year BioEdge reported that combatants in Syria were targeting civilian medical personnel. At that stage it was unclear which side was responsible for the casualties. A new report from the group Physicians for Human Rights asserts that the Syrian government has been responsible for the vast majority of attacks on medical facilities:

“Of the 150 attacks, PHR has documented that 136 attacks – or 90 percent – were conducted by the Syrian government, 10 attacks – or 7 percent – were conducted by opposition forces, and we were unable to confirm who was responsible in four cases.”

The report continues, suggesting that the government aims to injure or kill medical professionals:

“The Syrian government’s attack on the country’s health system has been as focused upon medical personnel as on facilities, supporting the argument that this tactic represents a widespread and systematic governmental policy. Between March 2011 and April 30, 2014, at least 468 civilian medical personnel were reportedly killed.”

The government is yet to respond to this specific report, but has made various general denials of human rights abuses since the start of the war. 

Xavier Symons
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