02/19/2013 - #Syria - Aleppo - Rescuing the wounded and lifting the bodies after SCUD missile attack on Jabal Badr neighborhood
13/11/2012 Ma’aret Al Na’saan, Idlib, #Syria : Warplane Shelling has wounded a large number of people, search still ongoing for victims under the rubble!
By Dominic Evans and Angus MacSwan
(Reuters) - At least seven people were killed and dozens wounded in gunbattles in the Lebanese capital Beirut and coastal Tripoli on Monday in further unrest linked to the conflict in neighbouring Syria, security and hospital sources said.
The clashes have heightened fears that Syria’s civil war with its sectarian dimensions is now spreading into Lebanon, pitting local allies and opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against each other.
The Lebanese army promised decisive action to quell the violence, which was touched off by the assassination of a senior intelligence officer last week.
That killing has plunged Lebanon into a political crisis and the army command urged party leaders to be cautious in their public statements so as not to inflame passions further.
It issued the warning after troops and gunmen exchanged fire in Beirut’s southern suburbs overnight and on Monday morning while protesters blocked roads with burning tyres.
Many politicians have accused Syria of being behind the killing of Brigadier General Wissam al-Hassan, an intelligence chief opposed to the Syrian leadership, who was blown up by a car bomb in central Beirut on Friday.
Opposition leaders want Prime Minister Najib Mikati to resign, saying he is too close to Assad and his Lebanese militant ally Hezbollah, which is part of Mikati’s government.
YOUNG VICTIM OF SNIPER
The worst of the clashes since late Sunday took place in the northern city of Tripoli, the scene of previous fighting between Sunni Muslims backing the Syrian insurgents and Alawites sympathetic to Assad.
Six people were killed and about 50 wounded in fighting between the Sunni neighbourhood of Tabbaneh and the Alawite Jebel Mohsen, security and hospital sources said. The two sides exchanged rocket and gunfire, residents said.
Among the victims were a 9-year-old girl shot by a sniper.
Fighting in Beirut occurred on the edge of Tariq al-Jadida, a Sunni Muslim district that abuts Shi’ite Muslim suburbs in the south of the capital.
Residents had earlier reported heavy overnight gunfire around Tariq al-Jadida between gunmen armed with rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.
Soldiers killed one gunman in Tariq al-Jadida, the army said, a Palestinian from a refugee camp who had shot at them.
The violence escalated on Sunday after thousands of people turned out in Beirut’s Martyrs’ Square for the funeral of Hassan, who was buried with full state honours in an emotionally charged ceremony.
As the funeral ended, hundreds of opposition supporters broke away and tried to storm the nearby government offices, prompting security forces to fire tear gas and shots in the air to repulse them.
The army command said in its statement that Lebanon was going through a critical time.
“We will take decisive measures, especially in areas with rising religious and sectarian tensions, to prevent Lebanon being transformed again into a place for regional settling of scores, and to prevent the assassination of the martyr Wissam al-Hassan being used to assassinate a whole country,” it said.
Troops in full combat gear and armoured personnel carriers stood guard at traffic intersections and government offices, with barbed wire and concrete blocks protecting buildings.
Beirut was noticeably quiet as people stayed at home because they feared being caught in more violence. In the downtown, many shops, offices, restaurants were shut or empty and the area was free of its normal traffic chaos.
Lebanon is still haunted by its 1975-1990 civil war, which made Beirut a byword for carnage and wrecked large parts of the city.
Since then it has undergone an ambitious reconstruction programme and enjoyed periods of economic prosperity due to its role as a trading, financial and tourist centre. All that is now threatened.
The crisis underscores local and international concern that the 19-month-old, Sunni-led uprising against Assad, an Alawite, is dragging in Syria’s neighbours, which include Turkey and Jordan as well as Lebanon.
The slain Hassan was a senior intelligence official who had helped uncover a bomb plot that led to the arrest and indictment in August of a pro-Assad former Lebanese minister.
A Sunni Muslim, he also led an investigation that implicated Syria and the Shi’ite Hezbollah in the 2005 assassination of Rafik al-Hariri, a former prime minister of Lebanon.
Mikati offered to resign at the weekend to make way for a government of national unity, but President Michel Suleiman persuaded him to stay in office to allow time for talks on a way out of the political crisis.
Mikati, a Sunni Moslem, had personal ties to the Assad family before he became prime minister in January last year, two months before the anti-Assad uprising erupted. His cabinet includes Assad’s Shi’ite ally Hezbollah as well as Christian and other Shi’ite politicians close to Damascus.
If he was to stand down before an alternative was worked out, it would mean the collapse of the political compromise that has kept the peace in Lebanon and leave a perilous power vacuum.
Ambassadors from the United States, China, Russia, Britain and France met Suleiman on Monday and appealed to Lebanese leaders to resolve the situation peacefully.
One Western diplomat, asked if he thought the Mikati government would survive, told Reuters: “I think it looks more likely today than yesterday that he will come through in the short term. It will take time to form a consensus on an alternative and in the meantime the security situation needs time to recover.”
(Additional reporting by Mariam Karouny; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
Report from a field hospital in Maarshourin -IDLIB
Due to the heavy clashes of Maarat el Numan the hero’s have made this field hospital for the wounded with just simple equipment, as you can see!
Q: Dr, what u have in this field hospital?
A: We have bandages, IV’s and simple equipment for stitching simple wounds.
we receive the wounded and send them to hospitals. The closest hospital to us is about 15 to 20 km! We have very limited medicine, we have no electricity!
We need a generator!!! We have no beds, we treat the wounded on the floor!
There is no blood available here, our possibilities are very little. We are tryiing to help as much as we can with these little possibilities!
Translation done by the Syrian Assistance Team!
#Syria, Inability to transfer wounded Syrians to Lebanon costing lives, activist says
A Syrian activist said on Monday that emergency workers in Homs’ Qusayr were unable to transport severely wounded civilians to Lebanon due to the blockade imposed by regime forces, and that as a result the wounded were succumbing to their injuries.
“We used to move severely injured people to Lebanon before the road was blocked, but now all we can do is stand by them while they are breathing their last breath,” activist Amjad al-Ouday told NOW.
“We only have one field hospital and several first aid posts scattered [around the city] in residential houses,” he added.
The activist also said that there was an acute shortage of medical supplies in Homs, adding that the city was witnessing daily shelling by regime forces and that “every day [people] are being killed,” as a result.
More than 31,000 people have been killed since the revolt against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad began nearly 19 months ago, according to NGO figures.
Injured Syrians have been transported to Lebanon for treatment, especially to hospitals in the northern city of Tripoli and in the eastern Qaa region.
#Syrian rebels bring their wounded comrade to the hospital in eastern Aleppo (AFP, Miguel Medina)
ALEPPO, Syria—It had been a calm day in Aleppo’s Shifa Hospital, said Dr. Osman al-Haj Osman, his face etched with exhaustion from just three hours of sleep. Then, a man burst in bearing the shrieking bundle of a 6-year-old girl who’d had a machine-gun bullet rip through both her knees.
Two months into the battle for Syria’s largest city, civilians are still bearing the brunt of the daily assaults of helicopter gunships, roaring jets and troops fighting in the streets.
Shoving aside the orderlies and armed rebels milling around the cramped lobby Tuesday afternoon, the man deposited Fatima Qassem onto a gurney as a nurse swooped in and began cutting away the blood-soaked bandages on her knees.
A doctor reached in and pulled out an inch-long fragment of metal. There was a gush of blood. Large sections of bone and muscle were missing from the back of her knee.
She cried out plaintively for “Baba,” because the man who brought her was not her father—just someone who had rushed her across town to the hospital. The family was hopefully on its way.
There was a piercing scream as the nurse picked her up again, jostling her awkwardly dangling legs and carrying her around a narrow corner into a small operating theater. Her cries subsided into a steady moan.
Her father, Abdu Qassem, came in 15 minutes later, his shirt covered with blood, probably from carrying his daughter out of the car, and frantically asked the orderly behind the desk how she was doing.
A Syrian man injured by Syrian government shelling lies in a hospital bed in Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012. ((AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen))
Qassem said they had been driving through a neighborhood when their car was raked by machine-gun fire from government troops.
In the operating room, Fatima’s crying grew muffled as an anesthetic was administered and her mouth went slack. Osman cleaned the blood away from the wound and tried to find a way to repair the damage.
Just a few feet away from the commotion, on the next bed, a nurse calmly bandaged the hand of a stone-faced rebel who was oblivious to the stricken child nearby.
A tiny boy walked in and stared with curiosity at the blood and ruin of Fatima’s legs before a nurse suddenly saw him and ushered him out. It was Osman’s 4-year-old son, Omar.
When Osman started pulling all-day and all-night shifts during Syria’s civil war, his wife and two children moved into the hospital so that he would actually get to see them.
“He plays between the wounded. It’s a great upbringing,” Osman joked in the few calm moments before another patient was carried in. He spoke in English—a language he said he learned from watching the Fox Movie Channel on satellite TV. Perhaps another joke.
Syrians cross a street next to apartments, many of which have been abandoned due to government shelling, in Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012. ((AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen))
The 30-year-old doctor estimated that 80 percent of the patients are civilians, wounded by falling buildings and exploding shells from the constant bombardment that government forces mete out to the parts of the city outside their control.
On Tuesday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported shelling in several areas across Aleppo that killed more than a dozen and collapsed a three- story building in the nearby neighborhood of Haideriya.
Forces loyal to President Bashar Assad have been increasingly relying on the government’s artillery and air power to fight the tenacious rebels who so far refuse to be dislodged from Aleppo.
The city is Syria’s commercial hub, and its middle and upper classes were bastions of support for Assad. If the rebels took such a key city, it would give them a quasi-capital to complement the large swaths of territory they control in the north, up to the Turkish border.
A Syrian woman looks back while walking with another woman past a pile of garbage left on a roadside in Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012. ((AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen))
Osman said the rebels he treats mostly have gunshot wounds from the ubiquitous snipers scattered over the many front lines.
The hospital itself has been hit directly twice by shells, demolishing two of the upper floors. Bombs fell nearby several times, spraying the entrance with shrapnel and debris.
The hospital has a staff of only five doctors and no surgeons, so difficult cases are often farmed out to other facilities, including a hospital in the town of al-Bab, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) to the northeast.
While there are enough drugs in the hospital so far to deal with the daily violence—which on Monday killed 25 and wounded dozens in shelling believed to be in retaliation for the rebel capture of an army barracks—the staff is overstretched.
“What day is it? I don’t know. What time is it? I don’t know,” Osman said, adding that he goes to sleep at 4 a.m. and wakes up at 8 a.m.—unless he’s roused earlier for an emergency.
“My life is just the wounded and the dead,” he said.
Outside the hospital, in the surprisingly bustling neighborhood of Tareeq al-Bab, there is the sound of gunfire. A helicopter gunship is lazily circling the neighborhood and rebels on the roofs of the apartment buildings are futilely emptying the clips of their inadequate Kalashnikovs into the sky.
Abu Hassan, who was once a carpenter, sells vegetables on the street facing the hospital because there is no other work. He navigates the tortuous jigsaw of rebel- and government-controlled neighborhoods every day.
“When we are under bombardment, the water and electricity can be cut for days,” he said, explaining that if he had the money, he would try to follow the hundreds of thousands of other Syrians who have fled for the border. Since the uprising against Assad began 18 months ago, activists estimate that at least 23,000 people have been killed.
The streets between the shattered apartment buildings are choked with garbage that can no longer be collected.
Although meat is scarce, residents of Aleppo are eating adequately, said Alaa Mursi, gesturing at the eggs, chickpeas, tomatoes and other produce being sold. Many, however, are surviving on handouts.
“People give us food to eat,” he said. “There are rich people who distribute food for us.”
Just a few blocks away is the neighborhood of Hanano, on the city’s edge, where the rebels began their assault two months ago. The streets are largely deserted because most residents were recent immigrants who could flee to relatives in the comparative safety of the countryside.
A few men lounge in the shade of a scraggly tree in the otherwise grim vista of cheaply built concrete five-story buildings.
Overhead is the whirring noise of a jet’s engines—a mundane sound in the West that can mean sudden, inexplicable and random death in Aleppo.
“We are afraid to stay in the houses, so we hang out on the street,” said Abu Alaa, a jovial 30-year-old who hasn’t worked in months. “We sent our families to the countryside and we stay here to look after the place, in case of thieves.”
The sound of the jet suddenly builds to a crescendo and there is a muffled crump, mercifully in the distance. Another airstrike. The men gesture in the direction of the explosion and say that just this morning, a bomb fell a block away, killing a woman.
“We can’t sleep here during the night or day,” said Abu Abed, who looks much older than his 40 years. “In the morning, it’s the jets. In the afternoon, it’s the helicopters. And at night, it’s the shelling.”
Heart-rending choices in Syrian warzone hospital
By Nick Paton Walsh, CNN
September 7, 2012 — Updated 1852 GMT (0252 HKT)
Watch “Crisis in Syria: Inside Aleppo” on CNN International Saturday 1p.m. and 8.30 p.m. GMT and Sunday at 5.30 a.m. and 11.30 p.m ET.
Aleppo, Syria (CNN) — They are so used to seeing blood outside Dar alShifa hospital, the magnet of all suffering in Aleppo, that passersby simply walk over it, oblivious. When they mop out the building’s tiny reception area, the blood runs in small, dirty streams into the gutters. This is a hospital trying to get by day-to-day while lacking the most basic in supplies. It has itself been hit by shelling: two separate attacks have left its right side punctured with gaping holes in what was once the maternity ward.
One afternoon, a rush of the most frail and vulnerable come towards the exhausted doctors; children, some suffering from sheer terror. One is malnourished. They have cuts, bruises — but more often much worse. The government has, the doctors say, closed the main children’s hospital owing to a paperwork issue, so this is where they must come.
Mohamed is aged eight and was hit by shrapnel from regime shelling in his right leg. It shattered his femur. In Europe, surgery would mean he’s playing football again within months, but here a list of precarious challenges form. He remains quiet, brave, patient almost, as the doctors work out what to do.
The tough natural solution they hit on is a stark reminder of how desperate the task is of getting medical care to the wounded here in rebel-held territory. The government hospital has better equipment, and can probably save Mohamed’s leg. So, lifting him on the blankets they use as makeshift stretchers, they take him, bewildered and confused, into a nearby taxi to cross the front lines. His ordeal is far from over. It is perverse to know that only those who hurt him can also heal him.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose face adorns plastic skeletons used as teaching aids and trash cans inside Dar alShifa, still controls the best hospitals and much of the most precious medical resource: doctors. One medic, terrified enough that he doesn’t want his face or voice on camera, is absurdly brave in the risks he takes every day to work in Dar alShifa. During the morning and afternoon, he works in the government hospital. But later, he too crosses the Line to come here.
He paints a gruesome picture of caring for the Syrian regime’s soldiers. Fifty a day are brought in, he tells me. Some are so wounded the doctors make a decision, he says, that sounds like it is born of mercy and perhaps rebel sympathies. Those soldiers with the worst, perhaps unsurvivable, injuries are given lethal injections. He tells me: “If they found out I was working here, they would kill me.”
Suddenly, a truck arrives outside and little Ahmad is rushed inside. His right ear is hanging on only by a small thread of skin. Shrapnel — as indiscriminate when it lands as the means by which it is fired — hit the back of his head.
The doctors work to clean the wound, but, as too often is the case, the lights and power fail. He lies there as a doctor with a head torch tries to pull the shrapnel from his head. The anesthetic they gave is not enough to stop him screaming in pain.
But this is not the worst that will befall Ahmad. As he lies there, outside in the back of a truck slumps his father Yahya, lifeless, a hole in his chest from the same shrapnel. “Allahu Akbar” cry the men around his corpse. “God is great.” They leave his body in the sidewalk until his brother arrives. Later his family will quickly drive the body away, so Ahmad can learn of his father’s death at a more dignified time.