Home -> Humanitarian workers of UOSSM harshly affected

Humanitarian workers of UOSSM harshly affected

At the beginning of September 2016, hundreds of civilians were killed and more than 1,600 people were wounded after the intensification of the bombings in the besieged eastern districts of Aleppo. The medical personnel were directly targeted and the losses were very heavy. Three of the four intervention centers of the Syrian White Helmets were attacked, one was completely destroyed. The UOSSM teams in Syria were also hit: 5 members of our teams lost their lives on September 20, 2016 .

Mohammad Youssef: The day of his death, the young nurse had just become a father. That same morning he kissed his first child, Liane, for the first and last time. He was normally not on duty that day but had accepted to replace a colleague.

Mohammad Khalaf: Nurse and a young father waiting for his second child to be born. He was seriously injured during the bombing and died as a result of his injuries during his transfer to Turkey a day later.

Mohammad Abdellah: The day had started badly for this nurse. His two-year-old daughter had barely left the hospital and he was extremely worried. He went back to his home three times to make sure she had taken her medication. He left her despite his wishes to rescue the victims of the bombing of Khan Touman.

Ahmed Abdellah and Bachar Said were both ambulance drivers. They were alongside doctors and nurses on the ground on the night of the bombing. They were killed while waiting to bring the many wounded to medical centers. The two ambulances, funded by WHO (World Health Organization), were completely destroyed.

Conditions of death

On the evening of Tuesday,  September 20, 2016, the village of Khan Touman, in the region of Aleppo, endured a violent air strike. Immediately alerted, the 3 medical workers of the UOSSM, accompanied by their 2 ambulance drivers, went there to evacuate the victims to the hospitals of the area.

While they were helping the victims, around 11 pm, planes came back and bombed the village again, killing the 5 health workers and 10 of their patients. They were deliberately targeted.

This attack occurred one day after air strikes on the UN convoy and on the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, which killed many aid workers, including the Director of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.

Dr. Ziad Alissa, president of UOSSM France, said immediately after the tragedy: “This attack on our personnel and our medical facilities is unacceptable. Today, UOSSM has lost five members. Humanitarian workers and medical staff are protected by international humanitarian law. They devote their lives to saving others lives. Too many lives have been lost. We address our sincere condolences to the families of the victims who sacrificed everything to save the lives of their fellow citizens. They are real heroes. “