Syria’s Assault on Doctors – Annie Sparrow
(Daily Alert, Feb. 4, 2014)
The Assad regime has come to view doctors as dangerous, their ability to heal rebel fighters and civilians in rebel-held areas a weapon against the government. Over the past two and a half years, doctors, nurses, dentists, and pharmacists who provide treatment to civilians in contested areas have been arrested and detained; paramedics have been tortured and used as human shields, ambulances have been targeted by snipers and missiles; medical facilities have been destroyed; the pharmaceutical industry devastated.
In 2011, there were more than 30,000 doctors in Syria. Now, more than 16,000 doctors have fled, and many of those left are in hiding. More than 90 have been assassinated for doing their jobs. At least 36 paramedics, in uniform on authorized missions, have been killed by Syrian military snipers or shot dead at checkpoints. (New York Review of Books)