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Civilians at Risk After the Siege of Aleppo Intensifies | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Two international organisations have warned of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in east Aleppo after medical centres were bombed and the Al-Castello road was cut off. The road is the only road that links the area controlled by the opposition to the world and the fact that it has been cut off has increased the risk of famine and the collapse of medical services.

A statement issued by UNICEF, the world’s leading organisation for children in the world, stated that four hospitals in eastern Aleppo – Al-Daqaq hospital, Al Zahraa hospital, Al-Bayan hospital and Al-Hakim hospital came under continuous bombardment on the 23rd and 24th July. This has disrupted the provision of life-saving health services to thousands of civilians.

Reports also added that a new-born baby that was less than two years old died in its incubator as a result of a power cut caused by the shelling on Al-Hakim Children’s Hospital that is funded by UNICEF and which was bombed twice in twelve hours.

The statement continued by saying that “all hospitals that were bombed during the forty-eight hour period mentioned are located in the Al-Shaar neighbourhood that is abound with health facilities that are located close to each other. These hospitals form half of all functioning health facilities in the area”.

The organisation considers the attacks on health facilities a violation of international humanitarian law and a war crime. It added that “health facilities should not be exposed to attacks or any sort of harm. All workers in the health sector that require health insurance should be given it, wherever they are in Syria”.

In addition to this, Human Rights Watch demanded on Monday that the Syrian government and coalition forces allow the immediate delivery of aid to besieged areas in east Aleppo.

During a telephone conversation, residents of east Aleppo and aid workers told Human Rights Watch that the Syrian government’s siege has intensified since the 11th of July, food prices have increased and medical supplies have decreased to alarming levels.

The Human Rights Watch’s deputy director of its Middle East and North Africa division Nadim Houry said that “Forces of the Syrian government used the siege tactic in east Aleppo which is densely populated, just like it previously did with other towns in Syria. The Syrian authorities must allow civilians to leave the area safely and the delivery of aid”.