Jul 12, 2019

Reports that airstrikes have hit several health facilities in north-west Syria have been strongly condemned by the UN Secretary-General.

12 July 2019

In a statement issued late Thursday evening, António Guterres said that one of the damaged facilities included a large hospital in Maarat al-Numan whose coordinates had been shared with belligerents, through the UN’s de-confliction mechanism.

The development follows escalating violence since April in Idlib, the last opposition-held enclave in the country.

Some three million people live there, many of them displaced by previous clashes between Government and opposition fighters elsewhere in the war-torn country.

Highlighting the impact of the airstrikes on non-combatants, Mr. Guterres insisted that civilians and public buildings must be protected, in line with a 2018 de-escalation agreement overseen by guarantors Russia and Turkey.

The UN Secretary-General also insisted that those responsible for carrying out serious violations of international humanitarian law should be held accountable.

UNICEF/Khalil Ashawi
Kafr Nubl surgical hospital is seen after it was put out of service by attacks in early May 2019. The building and an ambulance lie in ruins. (3 May 2019)