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The Observer: In Aleppo’s destroyed hospitals the dead lie with the living

David writes for The Observer

I don’t think that in all my years of doing this I’ve ever seen such dreadful pictures of injuries, of people lying on the floor of an emergency room, the dead mixed with the living.

One colleague, who I speak to all the time, was in despair, sending me all these photographs, and saying: “David, you have to do something to help us.” But what can I do?

The message out of eastern Aleppo is that there are no hospitals functioning at all. They have all been repeatedly attacked in the past few days. Some were able to evacuate, but one was totally and utterly destroyed by rockets and bombs. I heard that two doctors were killed and 16 other staff injured and I am afraid that one of the dead may be a brilliant surgeon, who would be a particularly serious loss.

There is another hospital that we haven’t even had a message from. So, I suspect they are out of action, but we know nothing about the staff or the conditions there.

The Aleppo hospitals have been re-opened so many times, underground or at new locations, but between the bombing and the siege I don’t know if it will be possible to resurrect them this time. There is so much equipment that you need in order to operate and there is no sterilisation and no monitoring machines for anaesthetics. Even if the hospitals saved some machines they can’t run them because the generators have been destroyed or are out of fuel.

The taking out of every hospital and medical facility that gives hope and help to civilians is not a coincidence. The medics have such fantastic morale that you would not imagine them giving up, but I have an awful suspicion that this is the endgame.

Read the full article here.

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