Opinion

50 Killed In An Attack On Hospital In Aleppo, Syria While Fresh Airstrikes Continue

Richa Verma

May 6th, 2016

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Source: ohchr nytimes | Image Courtesy: cloudfront trbimg

The Incident
This particular incident took place last week in the eastern part of Aleppo, Syria. About 50 people lost their lives while 80 were injured, all of them either patients, doctors or staff of Al Quds hospital.
Dr. Muhammad Wassim Mo’az, the last pediatrician in Aleppo lost his life. How can he now tend to infants who have been torn apart by such bombings? He was so committed to his job that he would sleep in the hospital in case a child needed him at any hour of the day or night. So those kids at his service will die. It would be better not to be born at all.

Dr Ahmad was a dentist instructing children to take care of dental disease during wartime. Killed. Only 9 dentists remain in Eastern Aleppo now, It might be a matter of time till all of them become fodder to the grenades. But do we care? We are far removed from those war-sites, cozily ensconced in our rooms, commenting on how the Hrthik-Kangna episode unfolds or how hot Beyonce is in her latest album. How does it matter when humanity dies?


Tip of the iceberg:
730 medical professionals killed in the past five years of civil war, according to a report of Physicians for Human Rights, as targeting such hospitals, primary health care centers (2000 deaths one day after Quds attack), schools, mosques and other places of community congregation become a norm. We call human beings logical? Even animals are better despite the law of the jungle and survival of the fittest.


Cessation of hostilities agreed in February:
That has been thrown to the winds. Brief though it was, it was a respite to those toddlers who breathe in debris and ashes, living in constant fear. There was some amount of recovery and normalcy. With medical professionals being targeted now, there might be no recourse for even brief relief from unbearable pain. The entire city might be wiped out from the map soon. It is no wonder than instead of living in such deadly circumstances, the residents pray for death and instant relief from such life. What choice do they have when bombers do not want to target fighters but babies, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons? With no media coverage of such incidents, or worse still, total apathy in the international community to their predicament, how does it matter if they live or die? How does it matter if they receive proper burial?


Doctors have to “choose” who to save”
At the time of entering the medical profession, one of the oaths that doctors take is to serve humanity, irrespective of caste, creed, colour, race, sex or economic status – sanctity of medical neutrality. Imagine the plight of doctors, who have been trying to put up a brave front, knowing they are the last defenders of the city. Their medical supplies are running short and they know that they are on their last legs. They are abandoned as they struggle to choose who to save because they are on work-shifts round the clock and see close friends, relatives, children and community members in critical stage. Those are fallen angles who try to tend to the needs of bombed hospitals, overflowing with victims. Is their struggle to go in vain? Who would you save if both your parents and siblings were lying on the death bed and you could choose only one?


Total violation of Geneva Convention on war – time guidelines:
“Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria”

Also, it is clearly laid down that no hospitals shall be targeted. This is completely being breached and our world super powers, like the US, and Russia let the destruction happen.  They do pay lip service to the commitment of cessation of hostilities which also extends to Aleppo. But what about walking the talk?


The Logical Indian community would like to jolt the international community out of their slumbers. We do not know whether it was a Syrian or a Rusisan jet that bombed Al Quds hospital. How does it matter as long as innocent civilians, women, children and now the hospitals and doctors who can do something to alleviate their pain become a part of collateral damage? It is intentional damage to destroy a country. A war has no winner, only losers, annihilating an entire population which does not want to participate in a war for power whatsoever!

Syria does not need hollow promises but concrete action to stop the war. We urge the US and Russia to remove their air crafts from the civilian areas, which instil paranoia in the civilians. Moreover, pushing their allies to respect international humanitarian and human rights and to stop the attacks on hospitals is the least they can do, only if they actually want to change the state of affairs. With every person that dies. humanity dies.

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