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Airstrike near Gift of the Givers hospital in Syria

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The Gift of the Givers Foundation (GOTF) were today in the line of fire as two rockets hit homes close to the humanitarian organisation’s Al-Rahma Hospital in Darkoush, Syria. In the destruction of multiple homes, 50 civilians were injured and 22 women and children were killed.

Speaking to VOC News, the Gift of the Givers Turkey co-ordinator Fekri Shaban said al-Rahma staff are currently working to assist as many patients as possible. He said that those residing within the area are anxiously anticipating more attacks and fear for their lives as hospitals in the past year have been attacked.

“While trying to deal with the injuries in the hospital, another village close to Darkoush was bombed and many people were injured there. Some of our staff had to assist in the other village,” he said.

Gift of the Givers founder Dr Imtiaz Sooliman explained that rockets hit 300 meters from the hospital in an area that is home to civilians and does not house Free Syrian Army members.

Sooliman says that in recent years bombings have occurred on Eid and during Jumuah prayers, describing it as a “trend” of the Bashar al-Asad regime.

“When I was in hospital in 2012, a lady said it is not safe even in this hospital, since Asad likes to send ‘presents’ on a Thursday nights, on Jumuah, and on Eid day. That same Thursday, four rockets hit the mountain, a few weeks prior  rockets hit a masjid while the people were reading Salah that killed many, a year later a car bomb killed more than 100 people on Eid, and now in Darkouch rockets hit close to Eid, on Jumuah and roughly on Jumuah time,” Sooliman said.

In light of continued attacks within the region, Sooliman noted that with the purchase of the hospital’s building, the GOGF intentionally expanded the Hospitals facilities to accommodate as many patients as possible.

In addition, the foundation in anticipation of attacks on al-Rahma Hospital developed a second hospital, al-Hilal Hospital, which is located across the road from the al-Rahma facility.

“Most of the hospitals have been destroyed in Syria, many hospital personnel have been killed and many who have survived those attacks have joined al-Rahma’s staff. When we began, we had ten staff members, we now have 200,” Sooliman continued.

For more information and to assist, call GOTG on 083 236 4029. Alternatively, visit: www.giftofthegivers.org.

VOC (Thakira Desai)


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