Syria's Assad is unleashing 'a systematic campaign of attacks against hospitals'

In an absolutely horrific drive to undermine Syrian rebels at any cost, the regime of President Assad has launched a concerted and systematic campaign of airstrikes against hospitals in opposition-controlled territory, Mike Giglio and Munzer al-Awad report for BuzzFeed.

According to doctors and NGOs on the ground in Syria, Assad has purposefully targeted hospitals cities that have been captured by rebels in an attempt to undermine their ability to provide services to civilians.

The attacks are a ghoulish attempt by Assad to indicate that his government is the only functioning state in the country that can provide care to civilians living under it.

“The regime wants to show that it is the only state, and it doesn’t want to allow any kind of life or government in opposition-held areas,” Fadel Abdul Ghani, the head of the Syrian Network for Human Rights, told BuzzFeed. “The aim is to increase the suffering of the population there.”

The military’s targeting of hospitals appears to be systematic and well coordinated. Doctors on the ground in Idlib reported that the Syrian military targeted hospitals from August 7 to 10. The province had been under control of the Assad regime until April 5 and hospitals had not been targets of strikes in the region until the rebel coalition controlling the city began to tighten its control across the province.

Assad’s airstrikes, a Western official familiar with the matter told BuzzFeed, are “really a systematic campaign of attacks against hospitals.”

The Syrian government’s willingness to target hospitals, in defiance of the Geneva Conventions, is just the latest example of its willingness to go to any length to undercut the various rebel groups arraigned against it.

From the beginning of the Syrian revolution in March 2011, regime warplanes have

Since then, the Assad regime has been convincingly accused of commiting mass torture and rape, in addition to imposed famine, and the use of sarin nerve gas and chlorine as chemical weapons.

In one of the most bloody single civilian incidents in the war, the Syrian regime killed around 100 people in rebel-held Douma northeast of Damascus.

Such constant mass atrocities by the Assad regime has only served to further radicalize the country’s opposition and further enflame the radical terrorist elements that are fighting to overthrow the government.

“The [Assad] regime is a terrorism generator of epic proportion, engaging in state terrorism against its own people and inciting terrorism from its opponents,” strategic security firm The Soufan Group notes.

“There is no justifying the actions of a group like the Islamic State or al-Nusra … but the Assad regime’s wholesale slaughter of civilians provides the groups with radicalized supporters far faster than Assad’s military can then fight them.”

Check out Buzzfeed’s report >

Pamela Engel and Michael B. Kelley contributed to this report.

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