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SNHR: Russian Forces Targeted 59 Medical Centers in Syria | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Bombing of a school near Aleppo/ Reuters

Beirut- The Syrian Network for Human Rights has said that attacks on medical centers in Syria haven’t stopped, and even escalated alarmingly after the High Negotiation Committee’s decision to postpone its participation in the Geneva talks on April 19.

The report documents the targeting of no less than 59 medical centers by attacks that are suspected to be Russian.

The report, which was the 17th to be published by SNHR since the Russian attacks in Syria began on September 30, 2015, focuses on the targeting of medical centers from the beginning of the Russian intervention in Syria until August 31, 2016.

Fadel Abdul Ghani, chairman of SNHR, says: “Russian forces’ attacks on medical centers and medics are a blatant violation of the international humanitarian law and amount to a war crime on account of the fact that these attacks are indiscriminate and in many cases deliberately targeted protected objects. These attacks have deepened the agonies of the wounded and injured and are one of the main causes of the displacement of the Syrian people as the send a very clear message: there is no safe area or a red line including hospitals, you either flee or perish.”

The report draws upon the daily documentation and monitoring and includes accounts by survivors, victims’ families, and eyewitnesses.

The report documents the targeting of no less than 59 medical centers by attacks that are suspected to be Russian including five facilities that were targeted more than once. Eighty four percent of the attacks occurred in Aleppo and Idlib governorates.

According to the report, these attacks resulted in the killing of 86 civilians including eight children and 13 women. Also, 26 out of the 86 civilian victims were medical personnel.

The report notes that the Russian regime has, beyond any doubt, violated Security Council Resolutions 2139 through the practices of indiscriminate bombardment. Also, the Russian regime violated many rules of international humanitarian law and committed dozens of crimes that amount to war crimes through the indiscriminate bombardment which was also disproportionate in its use of excessive force.

According to the report, Russian forces perpetrated a violation that constitute a war crime through targeting medical centers with an indiscriminate, and in many cases, deliberate bombardment on objects that are supposedly protected.

The report calls on Russian forces to conduct investigations with regard to the incidents mentioned in the report and make the findings of the probe public for the Syrian people.

It also urges Russian forces to hold all those who are responsible accountable in addition to redress all the damaged hospitals, and to reconstruct and re-prepare them. Additionally, all victims’ families and wounded must be compensated.