On Sunday, 21st March at 8.20am local time, three artillery strikes targeted the SAMS-supported Al-Atareb Surgical Hospital in western Aleppo, a major hospital in northwest Syria that had been providing extensive services to the local community. The hospital sustained extensive damage and was forced to close.

One of the shells hit the main yard in front of the hospital, while the orthopaedic clinic was completely destroyed. The shell also caused structural damage to the windows and the front gate. Another projectile hit the electric generators on the roof of the hospıtal, rendering them out of service.

The attack resulted in six fatalities among patients, including one child. An additional 17 people were injured, including 5 medical staff. At least four injuries are critical and were transported to Turkey to receive emergency treatment. One of the injured doctors suffered a severe eye injury due to shrapnel, and his prognosis is still unknown at this time. The hospital provides an average of 3,650 out-patient medical services per month, 177 general, orthopedic, and urologic surgeries, as well as emergency and obstetrics services.

SAMS has documented 157 direct and indirect attacks by heavy-weapons on its facilities since 2017, resulting in the temporary or permanent closure of at least 14 facilities, the killing of 32 medical personnel, and injuries to another 50.

Hands Up and SAMS strongly condemn attacks on healthcare and call on the United Nations to renew its effort to find meaningful ways to protect healthcare personnel and to hold perpetrators accountable.