U.N. Should Name Parties Responsible For Bombing Health, Humanitarian Facilities In Syria
Al Jazeera: Who is bombing hospitals in Syria?
Rashed al-Ahmad, pharmacist from Hama, northern Syria
“…About three years ago, doctors at my health center had to decide whether to share the building’s coordinates with the U.N. As part of its deconfliction mechanism, the U.N. shares the coordinates of humanitarian facilities with parties involved in the Syrian conflict, including the regime and Russia. The hope was that the two allies, the only ones with aerial capabilities in the conflict, would then avoid targeting these buildings. … [Now, t]he reality in Syria [is that] bombing hospitals seems no longer to be a crime and naming the perpetrators seems no longer to be the U.N.’s duty. … Since the conflict began in 2011, there have been at least 516 attacks on health facilities perpetrated by the regime and Russia, killing 890 medical workers. … Despite knowing the risk, our doctors trusted the U.N. and believed that sharing the coordinates of the center would best guarantee our safety. After a great deal of deliberation, last year they contacted the U.N. and provided the needed information. … Today, I live with the heavy conscience that one year ago we probably made a mistake giving the U.N. the coordinates of our center. It is clear by now that the very institutions that are supposed to protect us, civilians, have failed us. And what adds insult to injury is that they won’t even name those who bomb us, kill us, and destroy our homes, hospitals, and schools on a daily basis. But we know who they are and we are not afraid to name them: the Syrian regime and Russia” (6/17).