Attacks Against Hospitals In Syria Represent ‘Most Repellent Aspects Of Modern Warfare’

New York Times: In Syria, Even the Hospitals Are Not Safe
Janine di Giovanni, 2019 Guggenheim fellow and senior fellow at the Jackson Institute at Yale

“…[Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s] campaign against hospitals is not just inhumane — it represents one of the most repellent aspects of modern warfare. Hospitals were once off limits; even in conflicts where the international laws of war were routinely flouted, medical facilities were spared. That has changed. Governments increasingly turn on civilians, and hospitals and medical workers are being deliberately targeted in an effort to silence them. Doctors are tortured and killed. Health care workers have been robbed, looted, beaten, and murdered in Central African Republic, Congo, Lebanon, and Myanmar. … [I]n Syria, hospitals are a tool of war. … This means that hospitals cannot treat the sick or dying. It means people with chronic illness have no care. No maternity clinics or diagnostic labs. … What explains such an extensive and cruel campaign? In President Assad’s mind, somewhere along the line, ‘opposition’ became a synonym for ‘civilians,’ many of whom don’t support either side but just want to stay alive. The most threatening way you can terrorize a population is to bomb hospitals and kill doctors. And by killing doctors, who are often the community leaders, you can break down society faster and force surrender quicker. … Nothing and no one is ever safe in Syria … Not even hospitals” (6/3).

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