Hospital Bombings Escalate New Tensions In Syria

The continual escalation of the Syrian conflict was explored this week by reports made by the BBC News who reported the bombing of Al Maghara cave hospital in Hama province, Syria. Formerly considered one of the countries most secure medical centres and built under 20 meters of rock, the air strike critically destroyed all of the hospitals’ main infrastructure and, is at this time, unclaimed by any given Syrian party. The hospital which provided medical aid for a populace of 50,000 people and performed more than 150 critical surgeries a month, will be a sore loss for the region and is a bereavement intertwined within a broader range of contextual conflicts.

Avi D’Souza, the spokesperson for the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organization (UOSSM) explained: “this is the most serious attack in a larger campaign against hospitals.” The five missiles launched during the air strike, D’souza argued, failed to kill any civilians or staff members only because the individuals were able to hear the airforce jets coming in time to escape. Similarly, in response on Thursday, the United Nations’ Humanitarian Co-ordinator for Syria Jan Egeland explained the futile nature of efforts made by diplomatic parties to aid the area as she urged “we need an end to the fighting and we need to have Russia, Turkey and Iran again to get de-escalation.”

The callous nature of this attack and the air strike on Thursday makes a clear call for both national and international interventions whereby the inhumane attacks against those most vulnerable of society cannot go unchecked. The urgent need for medical and physical aid in the area should be a continual and pressing objective of international aid. Thursday’s attack should be seen as a catalyst to reinforce the commitment of aid to the area and an example of the high need and value of their support.

The crisis derived from conflicts between the Syrian government and Kurdish Militia are further reiterated through the interventions and backings of key external players including countries such as Turkey, Russia, and America. The significance of the Kurdish Militia is similarly understood as it critically forms part of the defence force against the uprising of the Islamic State in Northern Syria. The magnitude of this conflict is demonstrated through the statistics of January 2018 whereby 14 air strikes were carried out on medical facilities within the Syrian region alone. This turmoil, which arose during the beginnings of 2013, thus continues to manipulate and dictate the countries direction with the United Nations, now stating that the conflict and conditions are at its worse since 2015.

The long-reaching consequence of the turmoil experienced within this area of the world is explored through the external players of Russia, America and Turkey as each agency contributes large amounts of raw resources, humanitarian aid and military strategy to each chosen side. The repercussions of such involvement intertwine key international players within a regionally specific locus and value. The brutality of the air strike and its consequence for the local community is an appalling act of injustice inflicted upon the most defenceless of the community. The necessity for international peace and rapid resolution is urgently needed to ensure and protect the basic human rights of Syrian civilians.

Ellie Willis