BOMBS AND UNDER FIRE
We are in an emergency. In July 2016 a medical facility was attacked on average every 17 hours. Many facilities have been attacked multiple times, often changing location for safety. When they started building a hospital in one northern Syrian town, local residents begged them to move -- knowing the hospital would be targeted.
Since Syria’s peaceful uprising was met with brutal force doctors have been systematically targeted by the Syrian government and its allies. For the Syrian government anyone treating people on ‘the other side’ is a valid target, and their elimination part of a deliberate strategy to force people back into areas under its control.
Of the 750 medical workers killed since the beginning of the conflict, all but 52 have been killed by Syrian or Russian government attacks - this is just what has been documented, the real number is likely much higher.
Despite being in clear contravention of international humanitarian law, medics have been executed and tortured. One doctor who was interrogated said “the most important thing was not to reveal my medical work,” since it is common knowledge that doctors are tortured worse than other prisoners.
However, the biggest killer of medical workers in Syria is neither torture nor execution. The greatest threat comes from the air - the Syrian government and Russian bombing. At least 750 medical workers have been killed and over 400 hospital attacks have been destroyed by these indiscriminate weapons.
These attacks are not just killing physicians and damaging hospitals, but destroying entire communities. When you kill a doctor in Syria, you are ensuring that hundreds, if not thousands, of people will die.
When you destroy a medical facility, you push people out of their communities to seek desperately needed services. In addition to routine aerial attacks targeting hospitals, health workers face a chronic lack of supplies and specialists. This is particularly dire in besieged areas, where treatable diseases and injuries can be a death sentence.
Last time she flew to Spain was 16 years ago and she just remembered the scary turbulences!
The first thing she told me about the flight was that the Lord gave her peace of mind before the flight and she felt very grateful!
We are proud of her and so pleased that she made it. Tomorrow is market day in Civray, then we'll have a walk round the town.
It's been a warm day here and I hear that in Bristol, it was pouring all day.