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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.

PHR Condemns Russian Veto on Syria Chemical Weapons Investigation (October 24, 2017)

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) today condemned Russia’s veto of a draft United Nations Security Council resolution extending the mandate of an investigative group looking into multiple chemical weapons attacks in Syria. The Joint Investigative Mechanism, established by the Council to look into who committed those attacks, is scheduled to release a report this week on the chemical attack that killed dozens of people in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun in April 2017.

PHR Documents Worst String of Hospital Attacks in Syria Since April (September 27, 2017)

Over the past week, Syrian government forces or their Russian allies have launched at least five aerial attacks on three of the main hospitals in Syria’s Idlib governorate, the most concentrated string of hospital attacks Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) has verified in Syria since April.

Raqqa Offensive Has Destroyed City’s Health Care System (September 8, 2017)

Intense fighting in Raqqa has devastated the Syrian city’s health care system, even as the offensive to release the city from ISIS control has increased the need for emergency services among an ever more desperate population. In interviews with health professionals and relief personnel, PHR has confirmed that Raqqa’s poorly-equipped National Hospital is now the only health care facility operating to serve tens of thousands of people remaining in the city.

PHR Responds to U.S. Allegations of Syrian Crematorium (May 15, 2017)

“If shown to be true, the Syrian government’s use of a crematorium demonstrates the extent to which the Syrian government has become a machine that commits mass murder with impunity. As our colleagues at Amnesty International demonstrated earlier this year, Syrian authorities have executed between 5,000 and 13,000 people at Sadnaya prison. Now we know what they’ve done with the bodies.

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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.

In the Crosshairs, Syria’s Doctors Are Still Saving Lives — and Bearing Witness (April 18, 2017)

At a hospital in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun, Dr. Zakariya had just started an early morning shift when dozens of patients began streaming in. It was a scene of chaos: patients struggling to breathe, vomiting, convulsing, foaming at the mouth, and losing consciousness.

On the Front Lines of a Chemical Attack (April 17, 2017)

As soon as he arrived on the scene, Bashar – a first responder with the Syrian Civil Defense or White Helmets – knew that this attack was unlike anything he had ever encountered.

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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.

Madaya: Portrait of a Syrian Town Under Siege (July 2016)

The Syrian government has besieged Madaya – a small town controlled by opposition forces an hour’s drive from Damascus – trapping residents inside without access to supplies, food, or services outside the town since July 2015.

Update on Syria – April 2016 (April 2016)

Syria’s cessation of hostilities, which came into effect on February 27, was supposed to reduce violence and guarantee delivery of humanitarian aid to desperate populations in need across Syria. The reduction of violence witnessed in the first weeks of the cessation has started to reverse course, and the cessation has largely failed on its promises to deliver life-saving humanitarian aid to the millions of Syrians in besieged and hard-to-reach areas.

Prepared Remarks - Five Years of War in Syria: Health Care Under Attack (March 2016)

Director of Programs Widney Brown of Physicians for Human Rights delivered remarks at the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Briefing - Five Years of War in Syria: Health Care Under Attack.

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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 »