Amman, Jordan, July 31, 2016 — An International Rescue Committee (IRC) supported hospital in Dara'a, Southern Syria was struck today by an airstrike, killing six and wounding many more.
David Miliband, president and CEO of the IRC said:
"We are dismayed and in mourning today at well-founded reports of the loss of life of colleagues and civilians killed by an airstrike serving the needs of desperate people in a hospital in Dara'a, Southern Syria. We are also angry: year upon year we have warned and mourned about civilian loss of life in Syria, and yet the situation goes from bad to worse.
These reports are a horrific reminder that civilians and aid workers are not just on the frontline of the Syrian civil war. They are bearing an intolerable price. The bombing of hospitals is never justified. All those involved must be held to account.
It is right to have global attention on Aleppo, but it would be tragic if people came to believe Aleppo is the only crime scene in Syria. Across the country, aid workers and civilians are being targeted in a merciless way on a daily basis. The IRC has 2,000 staff on the front lines in Syria facing the brutality of a war without law and seemingly war without end. Peace talks come and go, and so do so-called ceasefires, but the reality is that there is talk of peace but deeds of war.
It is vital the UN Security Council now meets to discuss the ongoing abuse of civilian life and attacks on aid workers in Syria. More important, it needs to act in defense of the most basic principles of the UN. It is not good enough to have monthly reports from the Secretary General about death and destruction. There needs to be action and accountability to ensure that the next month is not worse than the last."
The series of airstrikes hit the hospital in the afternoon, causing extensive damage to the hospital. The IRC supports with essential health supplies. Critically injured patients are being transferred to nearby Ankhal and Rafid hospitals, both of which the IRC also supports. The hospital provides some 4,000 consultations per month in Jasim, a city of approximately 55,000 residents.
IRC spokespeople available in New York, Washington DC, London and Amman
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The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 29 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.