Doctors Without Borders calls for investigation into strikes on Syria-based hospital

People look for survivors in the ruins of a destroyed MSF supported hospital hit by missiles in Marat Numan, Syria.
People look for survivors in the ruins of a destroyed MSF supported hospital hit by missiles in Marat Numan, Syria.PHOTO: REUTERS

GENEVA - The international president of Doctors Without Borders (Medecine Sans Frontieres) Joanne Liu on Thursday (Feb 18) deplored Monday's attacks on an MSF hospital in Syria, calling for an independent investigation into the incident.

At least 25 people were killed in the bombings in Maarat Al-Numan, Syria, among them nine medical personnel and 16 patients, with 10 others wounded, Xinhua news agency reported.

Secondary strikes, known as double taps in military jargon, targeted rescue teams and medical personnel who were attending the injured, a tactic qualified as "outrageous" by the MSF official. A nearby hospital that received many of the wounded was also struck an hour later.

"The cynical destruction of hospitals and killing of medical personnel deprives entire communities of critical medical care. This attack can only considered deliberate," Liu said. "We say loud and clear, the doctor of your enemy is not your enemy."

Liu, who called for the UN Security Council and all powers involved in the region to do more to save lives. Estimates reveal that 250,000 Syrian people have died in the five years since the war started and that over 4 million people have fled the Middle Eastern country as a result of protracted violence. An additional 6.5 million have been internally displaced by conflict and 13.5 million people inside the country are in urgent need of humanitarian aid.