For Immediate Release
Napalm attacks force closure of only field hospital in besieged town of Daraya
19th August 2016
The town’s population, besieged for over three years, has been left with no access to medical care
Friday, 19 August 2016 – Napalm-like incendiary bomb attacks have forced Daraya’s only field hospital to shut, leaving a besieged population of 8,000 without access to medical care.
The incendiary bomb that shut the hospital struck at approximately 1:00 AM on Friday morning. It is the latest in a string of bombings on the hospital, the most recent of which was another incendiary bomb attack on Wednesday. Doctors continued to operate then using the lights of their mobile phones.
Ibrahim Kholany, an activist with the Daraya Local Council, said:
“The field hospital was not only treating routine medical cases and newborns but also civilians suffering from malnutrition and injuries of war. The hospital’s volunteers are there now gathering what’s left of the equipment that hasn’t been burned. They’re going to meet after and try to figure things out. They will try and set up various medical points but patients will only be able to receive first aid there. We have no other choice.
We are being bombed daily and we have had days where we’ve being hit with 40-50 barrel bombs. Now we have scud missiles and napalm attacks too.”
The town of Daraya has been besieged since November 2012. The route to the neighbouring town of Moadamiyeh was taken by government forces in February of this year, cutting off a vital supply line and leading to the deterioration of the humanitarian situation inside the town as well as cases of malnutrition. Fields which residents relied on for food were being burned and retaken by government forces beginning May of this year. The last delivery of humanitarian aid was in June.
The town’s women and its local council have called for a truce but the Syrian government has refused. Residents of the town have also called on the UN and the humanitarian community to enter with vital medical supplies and equipment as well as other lifesaving goods.
NOTES TO EDITORS
– Video of doctors operating under light of mobile phones on Wednesday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
– Footage of the attack courtesy of the Daraya Local Council: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=
– Interview with a doctor in Daraya talking about the closure of the field hospital: https://youtu.be/1EAno6H6Tu4
– 1,805 barrel bombs have been dropped on Daraya since May 2016 (Source: Daraya Local Council)
– Daraya’s field hospital, even when open, had very limited access to medical supplies. 600 babies under two years old have not received routine childhood vaccinations (Source: Daraya Local Council)
– In April this year, the women of Daraya called the world for support saying they are on the verge of witnessing death by starvation. For more details: https://diary.
– The Syria Campaign is an independent advocacy group campaigning for the protection of civilians. Find out more at www.TheSyriaCampaign.org