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The World Today: Hospital bombed in Aleppo

29 Apr 2016

Paul McPhun, executive director of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) Australia talks to ABC's The World Today program about the bombing of a hospital supported by Médecins Sans Frontières in Aleppo, Syria.

“It’s been a horrific night for our colleagues. They witnessed barrel bombs exploding close to the hospital, and then they started to take in patients. Shortly after as patients have gathered in the hospital and were being treated, a barrel bomb exploded at the gates of the hospital itself.”

“Medical facilities in urban settings, urban centres, civilian populated areas are clearly being systematically targeted in Syria, there’s absolutely no doubt about that. In 2015 alone, we have 94 attacks against 63 hospitals that we supported. In this year alone, we’ve had 11 attacks against hospitals that we’ve supported. These are just the hospitals we’re supporting, so clearly there’s no distinction being made whatsoever between what should be protected under International Humanitarian Law as a medical facility, and what would be a legitimate target to attack in war.”

“We will be very vocally calling for action from the UN Security Council. They have an important meeting next Tuesday where we hope a UN Security Council resolution on the protection of the medical mission will be adopted and will be supported. This just illustrates how important it is that we have a clear commitment on an international level to stop targeting hospitals, and stop targeting doctors and patients in many of the wars that we are currently trying to assist populations in.

It has to be beared in mind that four of five permanent members of the UN Security Council are involved now militarily in Syria.”