Syria's security forces targeting hospitals

Activists and human rights groups are concerned the brutal crackdown in Syria isn't just against anti-regime protesters, but against medical workers who try to treat the wounded. They also say that at least 400 children have died in the violence. Today, we'll look at the situation facing wounded Syrian protesters and the medical practitioners who are risking their lives to try to save them.



Part Two of The Current

Syria's security forces targeting hospitals - Syrian medical student

Syrian tanks have reportedly amassed outside opposition neighborhoods in Homs today in an attempt to subdue the centre of revolt again the rule of President Bashar al-Assad. For a week the army has been trying to crush the resistance there. And the siege on the city has made life miserable for the people living there and and for the medical staff trying to help the wounded.

We hear from a Syrian doctor who explains that since he has so few resources, he performs surgeries IN unsafe conditions. He says there aren't even any ambulances to carry the injured; people must rely on friends and relatives to get them to hospital. And there are now allegations that there are fewer hospitals to go to.

This week, Medecins Sans Frontieres released a report with testimony from patients, and doctors like this one, that suggest medical facilities and staff are under attack by the Syrian authorities.

Abu Rami is a 25 year old medical student who dropped out of university when the Syrian uprising began to volunteer at field hospitals. We're using a pseudonym to protect his identity. We reached him in Homs, the Syrian city that's been under particularly heavy attack for the last five days.

Syria's security forces targeting hospitals - Syrian activist, Abu Abdo

Abu Abdo is a Syrian activist with the Revolutionary Council of Homs. Since the siege of Homs began, he's taken injured civilians to makeshift field hospitals and smuggled food and medicine into the city. We reached him thirty kilometers outside of Homs, where he's on a mission to sneak in medical supplies.

Syria's security forces targeting hospitals - UN representative

The United Nations has been unable to get a clear mandate from its members on what to do about the Syrian upheaval. Earlier this week the United Nations Children's Fund, or UNICEF, expressed its concern for the children caught up in the violence. Yesterday the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict called the situation in Syria " harrowing." Radhika Coomaraswamy was in New York City.

This half hour was produced by The Current's Pacinthe Mattar, Pedro Sanchez and Josh Bloch.

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