In the final months of 2016, more than 250,000 people were trapped in the bloody battleground of eastern Aleppo in Syria. In December, the city was taken by government forces, but not until after residents had been lived through the fiercest bombardment of the five-year civil war in Syria.

The military strategy used by the Syrians, Russians and others have included the most horrendous and deadly tactics against the population, with the use of  bunker buster bombs, cluster bombs, incendiary bombs, barrel bombs, cannons, rockets, snipers, tanks and every means available.

Aleppo has become the epitome of the Syrian war, with every atrocity committed in one place: siege warfare; the destruction of multiple hospitals; indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas; and a total disregard for the rules of war.Out of the eight hospitals supported by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and other organizations in eastern Aleppo, all have been hit by bombs. During the siege, all eight hospitals were overwhelmed with high numbers of war wounded. People were literally dying on the floors of the facilities. Medical supplies and fuel ran low and the few remaining doctors worked non-stop in the most strenuous circumstances trying to save each life.

 

December 16, 2016: Medical and humanitarian evacuation of East Aleppo

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is providing support to the humanitarian evacuation of East Aleppo, Syria, and yesterday, medical and logistics teams conducted a first assessment in the area.

Doctors supported by MSF inside east Aleppo are safe and they are taking part in the evacuation of the sick and wounded.MSF has sent 17m3 of medicines and medical materials to Aqrabat hospital, where wounded evacuated from east Aleppo are being taken. MSF's warehouse is located six kilometres away in Atmah and in addition to the 45 tons of medical supplies that are there ready to go, 700 non-food item kits are already in Atmah and 1,000 more should arrive soon.

Three MSF teams visited Sarmada and Al Atareb today (16 December) to assess the situation of those newly displaced people and to identify their primary healthcare, food and shelter needs. Medical staff in contact with MSF had reported that people were arriving in bad condition after having lived under siege in east Aleppo for five months.Thousands of civilians are still waiting to leave east Aleppo and, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the evacuation is expected to take several days. Security incidents stopped the evacuation today when buses carrying civilians were shot at in Alrashdeen and had to turn back.

 

December 13, 2016: MSF calls on all sides to spare the lives of civilians as the battle for Aleppo in Syria reaches a critical point

As the battle for Aleppo in Syria reaches its most critical point, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is outraged at the violence directed against civilians and the passivity displayed by all those that can do something to stop it. MSF calls on all warring parties to abide by their obligation to protect civilians in both the besieged areas and in areas newly taken over by the Syrian government.

 

 

 

Renewed bombardment of East Aleppo destroys more hospitals, pushed healthcare to the brink

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has confirmed that two hospitals in besieged east Aleppo in Syria were hit by airstrikes on November 16, one day after attacks were relaunched on the opposition-held area of the city. "As the intensity of the bombing increases and the massacres become more frequent, we are seeing more and more patients, and so we are getting through supplies faster," says one doctor. "When you have wounded patients, you can’t keep medications back for later. Treating people’s injuries is our first priority and is more important than anything else."

 

October 14: Four hospitals attacked within 24 hours; medical care in East Aleppo in tatters

Besieged East Aleppo’s struggling healthcare system suffered its worst day yet on October 14, with confirmed attacks on four hospitals and on an ambulance, leaving at least two doctors injured and one ambulance driver dead, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today. This was the worst damage to health facilities from airstrikes by Syrian and Russian forces since the collapse of the brief ceasefire at the end of September.

 

Time is running out for the children of east Aleppo, who have no hope for the future

The indiscriminate bombing by Syrian and Russian forces is taking its toll on the children of east Aleppo. At least 321 children have been wounded and 114 have died as a result of airstrikes in the last three weeks alone, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today. In addition, children have not been able to receive essential vaccinations, and water-borne diseases are reportedly on the rise.

 

Rescue workers under attack: Reaching hospitals in besieged east Aleppo has become a danger in itself

The few remaining hospitals in east Aleppo, already overwhelmed  by the numbers of wounded, are facing yet another challenge: collecting people injured in the airstrikes. Just 11 ambulances are left in working order in the besieged city as eight are out of action in need of essential repairs, says Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

 

The siege of Aleppo: Access to healthcare under threat, with 23 attacks against hospitals in the past three months

 

As eastern Aleppo witnesses the fiercest bombings since the beginning of the Syrian war, access to healthcare has become extremely limited. Seeking medical care is a danger in itself, with at least 23 recorded attacks on eastern Aleppo’s eight remaining hospitals recorded since the siege began in July. Eastern Aleppo’s two main surgical medical facilities, which are supported by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and other organizations, were damaged five times each, leaving one facility out of service since October 1. In the past two weeks alone, the bombing campaign has claimed at least 377 lives, according to the Directorate of Health, which only registers casualties that are confirmed at hospital sites. Many of the wounded are being treated at homes and elsewhere, and are therefore not registered.

 

'We face death every day': An MSF-supported doctor describes the horrors of life under siege in Aleppo

 

 

On September 28, two Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)-supported hospitals were seriously damaged by bombing and went out of service. Dr. Abu Waseem is the manager of a trauma hospital that MSF supports in east Aleppo city. This hospital is one of only eight functioning hospitals left in east Aleppo, where 250,000 people are living under tight siege and heavy bombing. 

 

MSF urges Syrian government to stop indiscriminate bombing in Aleppo

 

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) demands that the Syrian and allied governments stop the bombing that is provoking a bloodbath among civilians in the city. On September 28, just hours before the United Nations Security Council met to discuss the implementation of Resolution 2268 on the protection of medical facilities, two more MSF-supported hospitals were seriously damaged by bombing and went out of service.

 

Syria: MSF is deeply shocked by attack on aid convoy

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is deeply shocked by the September 19 attack on an aid convoy aiming to help people in need in Aleppo governorate, Syria. A UN and SARC convoy was hit and a number of SARC personnel lost their lives trying to deliver aid to the people of Urm Al-Kubra in the western countryside of Aleppo. We would like to express our deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the SARC volunteers who lost their lives in the attack, which is in complete contempt for all efforts to alleviate the suffering.

 

'Stop bombing hospitals': MSF's Dr. Joanne Liu calls on UN Security Council to uphold protection of civilians in war zones

On September 28, members of the United Nations Security Council met to review recommendations to enhance UN Resolution 2286, passed last May, which called on member states to uphold international humanitarian law and protect civilians and medical facilities in conflict zones. 
 
MSF International President Dr. Joanne Liu, a physician from Montreal, addressed today's meeting of the Security Council, and called upon member states to live up to their obligations and to stop the relentless assaults on civilian and medical targets. 

 

Aleppo, Syria: 'We are under attack almost every day. Life has become almost impossible' 

 
Al Zahraa hospital has this week been the latest hospital to be damaged by an airstrike in besieged east Aleppo, where 250,000 people are now trapped in an increasingly unsustainable situation. The medical facility was hit during the bombing on Tuesday evening and had to stop activities after doors, windows and an electricity generator were destroyed.  
 

 

'We cannot go and leave our people behind': Interview with a hospital worker in Aleppo, Syria

Mustafa Karaman volunteers as a physiotherapist in one of the only eight functional hospitals in east Aleppo, where 250,000 people are now living under siege and constant bombing, and medical staff like Mustafa are fighting a daily struggle to care for the sick and the wounded.

 

October 14: Four hospitals attacked within 24 hours; medical care in East Aleppo in tatters

Besieged East Aleppo’s struggling healthcare system suffered its worst day yet on October 14, with confirmed attacks on four hospitals and on an ambulance, leaving at least two doctors injured and one ambulance driver dead, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today. This was the worst damage to health facilities from airstrikes by Syrian and Russian forces since the collapse of the brief ceasefire at the end of September.

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