THET calls for UK Government and international community to do more to end deliberate attacks on medical facilities and personnel in Syria.

THET is calling for the UK Government and the wider international community to make clear to all parties in the Syria conflict that the deliberate targeting of medical facilities and medical personnel constitute a war crime and will result in prosecutions. THET’s statement is made in the wake of the recent bombing of a Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) supported hospital in Idlib province in northern Syria, which was destroyed in an attack early on Monday 15th February 2016.

The bombing is one of hundreds of attacks on health care facilities and medical personnel in Syria since the start of the civil war in 2011, which has seen 240 medical facilities attacked and 697 medical personnel killed.[i]

THET condemns the deliberate targeting of medical facilities, personnel and patients and calls for military forces on all sides to comply with the laws laid out in the Geneva convention, which states under Article 19, that: medical personnel exclusively engaged in the search for, or the collection, transport or treatment of the wounded or sick…shall be respected and protected in all circumstances, and: fixed establishments and mobile medical units of the Medical Service may in no circumstances be attacked, but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict.

Medical personnel in Syria must be allowed to carry out their duties without fear or threat of violence, and in the knowledge that they and the patients they care for will not be targeted. The clear violation of medical neutrality in Syria must be urgently addressed and those responsible held to account.