On Thursday, 11th of July 2019, one of Al Sham Humanitarian Foundations’ ambulances was destroyed due to an air raid by the GoS forces in Marrat Al-Noman, in the southern countryside of Idlib. The ambulance was on route to pick up injured civilians when it was targeted. Upon arrival, it was targeted repeatedly and directly. The medical staff took cover in one of the buildings and the targeting repeated after a short while, directed at the ambulance and it was totally destroyed.
This direct bombing was a part of a series of recurrent targeting directed at staff and buildings of Al-Sham Humanitarian Foundation by military aircrafts. Central Sham Hospital was targeted by military aircrafts on the 11th of May, 2019. Central Sham Hospital was a de-conflicted facility using the de-confliction mechanism of the United Nations through United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Also, two other ambulances were seriously damaged by the GoS air raids and are completely out of service currently.
These attacks are considered to be war crimes and a blatant violation to Geneva Convention that stipulated protecting healthcare buildings and medical staff. The health sector is now going through crisis in northern Syria due to systematic destruction of medical facilities by the GoS air force and its allies. These attacks were extremely higher in number in the last few days in addition to the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of citizens as a result of indiscriminate attacks.
We, as AHF, have serious concerns on the continuous targeting of staff and humanitarian facilities. Therefore, we demand all involved parties to stop this targeting on health facilities as this is considered to be war crimes and against the decrees of the United Nations Security Council no. 2139 and 2254. These decrees stipulated the necessity of stopping random targeting and stop attacking civilians.
We are assuring the continuity of our services to help vulnerable groups. We are calling the international community to take serious steps forward and play a more effective role in protecting all civilians and medical and humanitarian workers in Idlib. Also, we at AHF, are confirming our support in standing by civilians, medical and humanitarian workers.