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Attacks On Health Facilities, Workers In Syria, Yemen Should Be Considered War Crimes

STAT: Attacks in Syria and Yemen are turning disease into a weapon of war
Homer Venters, director of programs at Physicians for Human Rights

“…Today we are seeing another cruel method of warfare emerge on the battlefield: the weaponization of disease, particularly in Syria and Yemen. … [T]he pace of attacks on health facilities, workers, and resources in Syria and Yemen is massive and unrelenting. In the past three years, combatants in these conflicts have actively targeted health and humanitarian facilities and indiscriminately decimated civilian infrastructure. … We must not make the mistake of thinking of these deaths and illnesses as collateral damage of war. They are not accidental, and the destruction of medical and sanitation infrastructure is part of a cruel, illegal, and intentional strategy. … [T]here must be independent investigations of violations of international law when it comes to targeting health and humanitarian resources. There must also be regular and public reporting of incidents at the United Nations Human Rights Council and Security Council. We must recognize and prosecute these acts as war crimes, specifically as violations of the Geneva Convention. … [W]ithout accountability and clear condemnation from the international community, millions more lives are at stake” (7/7).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.