Syrian Hospital Bombed for the second time in 15 months as attacks on civilians in Idlib Escalate

The Kofr Nobol hospital in Idlib, Syria came under sustained attack today, suffering at least six direct aerial hits at 17.25 local time, reports the British NGO Hand in Hand for Aid and Development (HIHFAD) which operates the facility. There have been at least two deaths and the hospital has sustained significant damage.

The hospital serves over one million people in the Idlib province of Syria, providing essential services including surgical and reproductive health services for a population impacted by war. The hospital, the only surgical hospital in a 50km radius, was operating in a below ground ‘safe underground space/cave’ as the four story above ground hospital was completely destroyed in intense air strikes in February 2018.

“We are stunned and devastated for our team on the ground and the population who rely on this hospital” says Fadi Al-Dairi, Syria Country Director. “To be attacked twice in just over a year is incomprehensible. On both occasions the hospital was deconflicted with all parties to the conflict, meaning it has been identified as a humanitarian entity and so should be excluded as a military target”.

“Deliberately targeting medical facilities is a violation of international humanitarian law and human rights. The cynicism involved in launching this attack on the first day of our blessed month of Ramadan is beyond words. We ask ourselves what more suffering the population of Syria needs to endure before the world takes action. We rebuilt the hospital after the attack last year. We will rebuild again. Nothing will stop us providing essential medical services to the civilian population of Idlib who have already suffered so much during the past eight years of war.”

For footage of the attacks and the aftermath see here.