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Moroccan Doctor Describes Humanitarian Situation in Aleppo

Casablanca – Zouhair Lahna, a Moroccan obstetrician, surgeon and associative actor who volunteered in the Syrian city of Aleppo, recounts the atrocities he witnessed. The humanitarian situation in the Syrian city of Aleppo has grown horrific with the advance of Bashar Al Assad’s forces in the east of the city, backed by Russian Aerial bombardment. The pictures and videos that have spread across social media, showing mutilated bodies scattered in the streets of the city or being pulled out from under the wreckage of entirely demolished residential areas, have caused the international community to escalate its denunciation.Moroccan Zouhair Lahna, who has volunteered in different cities in Syria, recounted the atrocities in Aleppo in a way that leaves no room for doubt by skeptics who claim that media accounts about the city are nothing but misinforming propaganda. In an interview he gave to the French-speaking news source, Yabiladi, the Moroccan physician explained that there is only one road leading to the city, which has been completely blocked for the past three months. He continued his account saying that Russian and Syrian forces have implemented a scorched-earth policy that consists of shelling public facilities and residential areas in order to force the inhabitants to flee the city thereby leaving rebel forces without popular support.“The images we see are very harsh images because they are people under a deluge of fire and Russia applies exactly what it has applied in Chechnya, notably in Grozny, that is to say a scorched-earth policy. Everything is demolished so that people leave and the rebels no longer have popular support,” he explainedTalking about the conditions under which rescuers and paramedics work to save the lives of people caught under daily shelling, Lahna pointed out that hospitals in the city are in deplorable conditions.“In east Aleppo there were 10 makeshift hospitals. They do not have the standards of the hospitals that we know, but that’s what serves people,” noting that the hospitals were remarkably insufficient to provide even basic first aid for victims of the bombardments, let alone treat those who need more extensive medical assistance with conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, dialysis or cancer.Lahna continued his description of the atrocious conditions in Syria by stating that it was an awful experience to see people die without being able to offer any help, given the scarcity of medication and medical equipment. He noted “All these patients die and continue to die.”Edited by Connie Guindon read more