Tuesday , March 26 2019

Hospitals under ‘unprecedented’ attack in war zones: MSF

The MSF spoke out as guilt grew over the bombing of hospitals in the dissident-held east of the Syrian city of Aleppo


Kabul: Medical charity Doctors without Borders (MSF) Médecins Sans Frontières has hit out at the “unparalleled” number of assaults on medical amenities in Syria and Yemen, a year after the fatal bombing of its hospital in Afghanistan murdered 42 people.

Monday marks the 1st anniversary of the US strike on the trauma centre in Kunduz, which caused global outrage and forced President Barack Obama to make an unusual apology on behalf of the US military still positioned in war-torn Afghanistan.

“Over the last year, we noted 77 assaults against medical facilities operated or supported by Médecins Sans Frontières in Syria and Yemen: this is exceptional,” Meinie Nicolai, MSF president, expressed to reporters in Kabul.

“Hospitals at present part of the combat zone,” she added.

MSF has stated the attack on the hospital in Kunduz last October by a AC-130 gunship continued nearly an hour and left patients burning in their beds with some victims beheaded and suffering traumatic eliminations.

The organization has named it a war crime. On the other hand, an investigation by the US military formerly this year concluded that the troops targeted the facility by mistake and decided they would not face war crimes charges.

Médecins Sans Frontières had called frequently called for an autonomous international inquiry.

The charity spoke out as guilt grew over the bombing of hospitals in the dissident-held east of the Syrian city of Aleppo, which has been under attack by the regime and its ally Russia.

“Health facilities and staff are targeted in Yemen and Syria … most often in the name of war against terrorism,” Nicolai stated.

“In Syria, assaults against medical centers for residents and against ambulances are regular.”

She added: “Even today, we are not back yet in Kunduz. We have left northern Yemen. We fight to give support to the people in Syria.”

Guilhem Molinie, Médecins Sans Frontières country representative in Afghanistan, stated he had access to 700 of the 3,000 pages of the US report on Kunduz — the rest were classified.

“The US armed forces, working in Kunduz on that date, expected that self-defence was allowing them to attack,” he stated.

“The entire city of Kunduz was judged as aggressive. This is tremendously shocking for us which means that everyone in the Kunduz on the date was expected to be aggressive.”

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