Statement from Carolyn Miles on Yesterday’s Attacks on Seven Healthcare Facilities in Syria

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Media@savechildren.org

Fairfield, Conn. (February 16, 2016) — In response to yesterday's attacks on healthcare facilities in Syria, Carolyn Miles, President & CEO of Save the Children U.S. says:

"Save the Children is appalled by the growing trend for health facilities, schools and other civilian infrastructure to be the targets of deadly attacks in Syria.

"Monday was the worst day for attacks on healthcare facilities for more than six months. New information gathered by Save the Children and other organizations suggests that in total, seven facilities were bombed in air strikes, more than was first reported. The attacks happened across Syria, in Aleppo, Idlib and Dara'a provinces.

"These assaults have left thousands of already vulnerable people living in war-ravaged areas without access to healthcare. Initial reports suggest that on average more than 23,000 people used these hospitals and clinics each month, with 550 babies being delivered monthly. It's not clear when these facilities will be able to re-open, if they will be able to function again at all.

"Brave Syrian health workers work under incredibly difficult and dangerous conditions every day to save the lives of others. To have seven health facilities bombed in air strikes on one single day, destroying hospitals which are a life-line to the local population and killing health workers and patients, is indefensible. Protection of civilians should be the utmost priority; we cannot tolerate that families, and children in particular, are killed in places where they should be safe.

It is particularly saddening that this strike comes right after world leaders had announced an agreement for a cessation of hostilities in Syria. Parties to the conflict are not respecting their obligation to spare civilians. We call on all parties to agree to cease hostilities and immediately restart peace negotiations."

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