Aleppo under fire – people trapped have to “stay and die”

“Aleppo is under fire – with people reportedly having no choice but to ‘stay and die’” said Muskilda Zancada, MSF head of mission, Syria “We are hearing as airstrikes continue to target hospitals and civilian areas there is nobody left on the streets. People devastated by years of war are trapped in this nightmare, many are entirely dependent on humanitarian aid, and have no resources to leave.

“As the UN discusses a critical resolution and as the peace talks hang in the balance, we ask what is being done to stop this carnage, where is the action to save what is left of Aleppo, and ensure that civilians are protected from the fire?”


The death toll from Al Quds, where airstrikes first hit buildings neighbouring the hospital, the main paediatric referral hospital in Aleppo city, then the hospital itself as the wounded were being transferred there has now climbed to 55, as more bodies were pulled out from the rubble over the last days. This includes 6 staff from the hospital – including one of the last paediatricians in Aleppo, a dentist, 2 nurses, a technician and a guard.

It will be at least two weeks before the hospital will be able to reopen – efforts are focused on repairing and rehabilitating what can be salvaged. Breakdown of damages. The ER, and laboratory have been completely destroyed, including the destruction of essential equipment and drugs. The paediatric unit has been almost entirely destroyed, including the loss of 7 incubators. The ICU is less damaged but still will require a huge effort to get back up. MSF is committed to helping the hospital with whatever support it may need in this time and into the future.

People in Aleppo report being terrified, schools are closed and there is no-one in the street. They are hiding in basements. Most people are trapped, dependent on humanitarian aid for survival after years of assault on their city, they have no resources to be able to leave. They are reported to be being forced to “stay and die”

Airstrikes are not only hitting hospitals but have struck warehouses in which medical donations and equipment are stored before being delivered to healthcare facilities. This includes the Pre Hospital System managed by the Aleppo Directorate of Health to which MSF is one of the donors. Civilians have been killed in these attacks and essential items such as medical donations, and equipment such as ambulances have been destroyed.

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