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Since the outbreak of violence in Syria in March 2011, more than 190,000 people have died according to the UN. Among other atrocities that have occurred during the conflict, there have been serious violations of medical neutrality. PHR has been documenting attacks on medical personnel and facilities across the country in this interactive map.

In light of reports of apparent chemical weapon attacks in Syria, PHR has made available chemical weapons fact sheets meant to educate and provide guidance to physicians who may become first responders in a chemical warfare agents attack. We have also developed an informational fact sheet on nerve agent exposure and chemical weapons evidence collection meant to provide an overview of the deadly effects of nerve agents, as well as the procedure for the professional documentation of evidence of chemical warfare agents use and exposure.

As Fighting Intensifies, Daraa Civilians and Hospitals Must be Spared (July 2, 2018)

Physicians for Human Rights is deeply concerned by the news of yet more indiscriminate attacks on health care sites in Syria. In less than a week, PHR has received credible reports of large-scale airstrikes on at least six hospitals in Daraa in the south of the country, including Al-Giza Hospital’s emergency department, which was left completely destroyed after being targeted six times.

Impunity Reigns as Medical Personnel and Facilities across 23 Conflict-Torn Countries Remain Under Attack (May 21, 2018)

In its fifth annual report released today, the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition warns that attacks on health care in conflict zones around the world are continuing with impunity and may in fact be increasing. The report entitled “Violence on the Front Lines: Attacks on Health Care in 2017” documents more than 700 separate attacks on hospitals, health workers, patients, and ambulances in 23 countries in conflict across the globe.

PHRs statement on the alleged intimidation of Syrian doctors and international teams in Douma (April 19, 2018)

PHR expresses grave concern over reports of intimidation of Syrian medics who are carrying out crucial medical treatment and of investigators who are conducting forensic investigations near the site of an April 7 strike on Douma.

Physicians for Human Rights Statement on Alleged Chemical Attack in Douma, eastern Ghouta. (April 8, 2018)

PHR today condemns yet another apparent chemical weapon attack in Syria that killed dozens of people, including women and children, in the rebel-held suburb of Douma in eastern Ghouta, east of the capital, Damascus.

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Combating Impunity: How We Risk Normalizing Chemical Weapons Attacks and Other War Crimes in Syria (April 18, 2018)

For the past seven years, the Syrian conflict has proven to be one of the most complex and brutal wars in recent history. As targeted attacks on health care continue and chemical attacks are carried out with impunity, do we risk normalizing egregious violations of humanitarian law?

Yemen and Syria Rules of Combat: Is Blatant Disregard for Humanitarian Norms the New Normal? (March 26, 2018)

At the most basic level, international humanitarian law asserts that, while war unquestionably jeopardizes civilian wellbeing, it should not prevent the maintenance of health care amidst the chaos of the conflict. The end goal is to minimize cruelty.

Attacks in Syria and Yemen are turning disease into a weapon of war (July 7, 2017)

Today we are seeing another cruel method of warfare emerge on the battlefield: the weaponization of disease, particularly in Syria and Yemen.

In Syria and Yemen, Hospitals Are No Safe Haven (May 3, 2017)

A child in Yemen and a child in Syria. Separated by hundreds of miles, they share the experience of warfare – in Syria, a conflict that has churned along for over six years, in Yemen, a war that’s intensified since 2015. Children in both countries share an uncertain future, with the ever-present specter of illness, trauma, and death.

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Beyond Imagination: Seven Years of Conflict in Syria (March 2018)

The seventh anniversary of the start of the Syrian conflict brings no sign of the fighting abating. In its latest issue brief, Physicians for Human Rights shows how a pattern of targeted attacks on health care in the war-torn country are generating a lethal context.

Issue Brief: Attacks on Health in Syria (February 2018)

PHR’s issue brief highlights the need for a comprehensive U.S. strategy for Syria that prioritizes civilian protection and welfare as attacks on health and human suffering continue unabated. PHR encourages Congress to call on the Trump administration to deliver on these crucial elements.

Issue Brief: Attacks on Health in Syria (January 2018)

At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on January 11, 2018, Senators will examine U.S. policy in Syria. PHR’s issue brief highlights the need for a comprehensive U.S. strategy for Syria that prioritizes civilian protection and welfare as attacks on health and human suffering continue unabated.

Access Denied: UN Aid Deliveries to Syria’s Besieged and Hard-to-Reach Areas (March 2017)

As the conflict in Syria enters its seventh grueling year, Physicians for Human Rights calls attention to the Syrian government’s continued practice of deliberately and illegally manipulating UN humanitarian access to millions of people trapped in besieged and hard-to-reach areas of the country.

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Featured Report

Syria: Attacks on Doctors, Patients, and Hospitals

The Syrian government has responded to popular protests with months of sustained and extreme violence and intimidation, and an all-out assault on the country’s medical system. PHR has documented attacks on Syria’s medical profession – violations that are but one aspect of the myriad abuses the Syrian people have endured over the past several months. Read More »