Geneva, Switzerland – A massive chemical weapon attack was just reported in Douma, Eastern Ghouta today. Early reports indicate 25 people have been killed and over 500 civilians have been injured with the numbers set to rise. Many of the victims were children. The attack coincides with numerous attacks on medical facilities in Douma today rendering the largest hospital out of service and a Red Crescent medical facility heavily damaged. The damage inflicted was amplified by the large number of internally displaced people, forced to crowd tightly together in shelters. There are an estimated 170,000 people remaining in Douma served by a small number of doctors and medical staff.
The attack comes almost one year after the horrific Sarin gas attack in Khan Sheikhoun, on April 4, 2017. The attack killed 89 people, including 33 children, 18 women and injured over 400 people.
UOSSM calls for an immediate ceasefire in Douma, for medical aid to be allowed to reach the victims of this attack, and for an immediate investigation into the use of chemical weapons as a war crime.
“This is one of the worst chemical attacks in Syrian history. The lack of enforcement and prosecution by the international community has singled to armed groups that it is acceptable use chemical weapons with impunity. It is almost a year exactly since the world witnessed the horrible attack in Khan Sheikhoun, and said never again. 33 children died that day. Is this some kind of sick joke? How many lives could have been saved if international law was actually enforced? I am appalled and disgusted with these attacks .” Said Dr. Ghanem Tayara, Birmingham GP and Chairman of UOSSM International.
** Communication and medical verification in Douma is extremely limited due to the siege.
UOSSM (Union des Organisations de Secours et Soins Médicaux) provides free medical aid to the people of Syria regardless of nationality, ethnicity, gender, religion or political affiliation. UOSSM international, founded by Syrian Doctors around the world, started in 2012 and operates 12 major hospitals and supports 120 clinics inside Syria. UOSSM has performed over 1,000,000 medical treatments inside Syria since inception.