Attacks in Aleppo on Wednesday saw two of the Syrian city’s largest hospitals bombed. The inhumane bombings knocked both hospitals out of service and exacerbated the crisis to worsen the situation for the injured and ill within the besieged city.
The bombing resulted in the deaths of two patients and injuries to at least three hospital workers, including a nurse and an ambulance driver. The attacks happened just before dawn, according to the Syrian American Medical Society, which runs the hospitals in the opposition-controlled regions of Syria.
It has been a grim week since the collapse of the cease-fire. Since the resumption of hostilities, the rebel-held portions of Aleppo in the east have been under constant attack, and residents have described the violence as the “most intense bombardments yet of the five-year-old-war,” as shared by the Washington Post. Ongoing airstrikes by the Syrian and Russian military have been responsible for sending hundreds of injured civilians to the remaining hospitals in the city.
Both bombed hospitals were attacked between 3:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. It was reported that one of the eastern hospitals, which held the only trauma center in Aleppo. was closed after the attack. As the number of injured rises, there are only eight functioning hospitals left with only 29 doctors to treat the patients. There is estimated to be 275,000 people living in the rebel-held city.
Although both hospitals that were bombed early on Wednesday are currently out of use, they were not seriously damaged, and they are expected to be functional again. However, their temporary closure will make the crisis that much more difficult to cope with in the meantime.
Adham Sahloul of the SAMS medical organization from the Turkish city of Gaziantep spoke about the impact the closures will have on residents and the injured.
— Ronan Tynan (@RonanLTynan) September 28, 2016
“This is going to reduce capacity. They are in areas that are hit quite often and are densely populated, so this is going to be a problem,” he said. “It is very dire.”
Although the pace of attacks has slowed in the past couple of days following a weekend of heavy bombardments that killed approximately 300 people and injured nearly 700, patients have been pouring into the hospitals, and many are being tended to outside the facilities due to lack of beds. Social media videos posted by witnesses indicate that the situation is dire.
“We had to take the difficult decision to let the difficult cases die and attend to those who had better chances of surviving,” said Mohammed Tareq, a nurse at one of the hospitals. “Everything was topsy turvy.”
An additional 26 people died from airstrikes on Tuesday, in addition to another 23 who were buried beneath the rubble of an apartment building when it collapsed in the strike.
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The city has been surrounded by government troops for over three and a half weeks, and many share the fears that medical supplies would run out. One of the eight remaining hospitals has already run out of anesthetic, and this past week’s bombings has depleted supplies to dangerous levels, as Sahloul states.
The Post explained why the most recent bombardments have occurred in the rebel-held city of Aleppo.
“The bloodshed coincided with the announcement by the Syrian government that it had launched military operations to recapture eastern Aleppo from the rebels who have controlled it since 2012, squashing any remaining hopes that the cease-fire plan could be salvaged.”
Hopes that the ceasefire would be reinstated are fading rapidly.
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