Friday, January 23, 2015

West's Islamic State Focus Neglects Human Tragedy In Syria

Western states are focusing too much on tackling Islamic State and are forgetting the daily suffering of ordinary Syrians in areas of the country where the medical situation has become catastrophic.
Some 200,000 people have died and nearly half the Syrian population has been displaced by the conflict that began with anti-government protests in 2011 and spiraled into full-scale civil war.
The situation has been exacerbated since a U.S-led coalition began bombing areas of Syria controlled by Islamic State.
"Between 30 to 60 people are dying each day since the bombings started. There is only talk of extremism and Islamic State, but not the women and children who are killed, the bodies torn apart, the stomachs blown open, which is what doctors are dealing with each day."
Said Tawfik Shamaa, spokesman for the Union of Syrian Medical Relief Organisations (UOSSM), a non-governmental association that brings together 14 groups.

The group has about 300 medical posts and 12 dispensaries across Syria, but said its efforts are limited given the lack of medicines, equipment and staff.
"The situation is unbearable, catastrophic," said Obaida al-Moufti, a Franco-Syrian doctor.
One doctor in Aleppo, who gave his name as Abdelaziz, said there were just five functioning hospitals to cater to 360,000 people encircled by government troops.
"There are only 30 doctors of all specialities," he said adding that people were dying of diseases such as cholera, typhoid, scabies and tuberculosis because there were no treatments or vaccines available.
The U.S.- led coalition has backed anti-government rebels to counter Islamic State, but it has not targeted government forces. 
Source: Reuters

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