Sunday, 20 October 2013

Are all you armchair warriors truly satisfied that America didn't get involved with the civil war in Syria? Are you sure that your actions have left the Syrians better off. Talk! Talk! Talk! Since Russia intervened no action has taken place! and it continues unabated, innocent Syrians are being slaughtered daily!!!. Now read what Vascular surgeon David Nott, who last week returned from a six-week trip to northern Syria
The international community must establish "humanitarian corridors" between Syria and neighbouring countries to prop up a hospital system that has lost thousands of doctors and is "rapidly" running out of life-saving supplies, one of Britain's leading surgeons has said. Vascular surgeon David Nott, who last week returned from a six-week trip to northern Syria, said that doctors and other healthcare workers were being targeted by the regime, and that aid supplies were being disrupted by Islamist militants who were increasingly at war with both the Assad government and the rebel Free Syrian Army. Mr Nott, a seasoned emergency medic who has worked in conflict zones including Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq, worked 18-hour days at a field hospital in a rebel-held area, one kilometre from the front line, during an aid mission with the charity Syria Relief. Operating with Syrian surgeons under shellfire and with minimal equipment, Mr Nott said the hospital was seeing more than a dozen gunshot victims a day – usually civilians targeted by regime snipers. "There aren't many doctors now in that part of the country, and only a handful who are surgically trained. The ones that are left are those that really want to help the people," he said. "That's why the majority of people are dying – the surgeons are not trained in trauma, in how to deal with massive bleeding." "The hospital I operated at didn't have a hat or a mask for a surgeon to wear. So much stuff is needed there because it all runs out so rapidly. To get the supplies across the lines is the big problem. There needs to be some kind of humanitarian corridor set up, either by the UN or even the British government. We need a humanitarian channel so that the aid can come in." His call comes amid growing frustration among aid organisations at the international community's failure to address the humanitarian crisis facing Syria. While the arrival of UN weapons inspectors tasked with destroying President Assad's chemical weapons ended a diplomatic impasse between Western nations, who back the rebels, and Assad's ally Russia, it has done little to help the millions of civilians caught in the conflict. "This population needs external assistance … The UN Security Council [agreement] hasn't changed anything," said Dr Jean Hervé Bradol, research director at Médecins Sans Frontières, who returned from Syria two weeks ago. "The agreement they made wasn't followed by any concrete consequence to the civilian population … Nothing has changed. It's very striking that the international community is pleased with the chemical agreement yet nothing significant has changed … Realistically, we would like to be in a position to send convoys into the area where the most vulnerable population is under attack, yet at the moment this looks like a dream." This is why the world must always support the Red Cross
Last week, six volunteers from the International Committee of the Red Cross and one volunteer from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (Sarc) were kidnapped by armed men near the town of Saraqeb in Idlib province. Three of the ICRC volunteers and the Sarc volunteer have been released but, despite repeated appeals, their colleagues are still being held. The incident has again highlighted the dangers faced by aid workers in Syria. Entering the country from Turkey, Mr Nott had to hide in the back of his vehicle at checkpoints manned by fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis). "The problem is that the aid is being stopped by Isis," he said. "It's very difficult to get in or out. If they don't like you they will pull you out and arrest you and kidnap you." He said that healthcare workers and medical facilities had become targets for regime forces. "If you take out the health workers, nobody wants to fight because there's nobody there to put them back together again," he said. "One hospital we passed has been levelled to the ground. Our hospital has been targeted by Scud missiles. They are trying to blow up all the hospitals. We had drivers coming back with bullet holes in their ambulances. The regime has spies around, and if they know who the doctors are they will find out who their relatives are and arrest them or detain them, or do something awful to them."
The men and women of the international Red Cross are probably some of the bravest people in the world and will be very much part of my speech at Tuesday's presentation ceremony

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