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Has the Moderate Opposition the Red Line?

The rebels of the so-called opposition in Aleppo, Syria made a mortar attack on December, 5 on a Russian mobile hospital deployed in an area of Eastern Aleppo liberated partly from the terrorists. As a result of a direct attack, one of the ten shells killed two female medics and wounded two more paramedics. Some tents were destroyed. Currently, doctors are saving a pediatrician’s life.

Russia Today TV channel’ journalist Somar Abudiab and some locals who had come to visit a doctor at the hospital were also injured. The Syrian government army immediately fired back at the attackers.

The entire international community, including such humanitarian organizations as the International Red Cross (ICRC), the Red Crescent Movement and Doctors without Borders usually strongly condemn attacks such as this one against medical centers  and the killing of medical personnel performing their duties.

However, no one in the European Union and in the the agencies named above have criticized the incident. Instead, the ICRC said the attack is a violation of international law accomplished by one side of the conflict unable to fulfill obligations to protect medical staff. Such statements have sparked indignation of people in the city who are familiar with what happened. Rather than urge the United Nations to investigate and to bring to justice the perpetrators, the representatives of the ICRC have merely stated that medical infrastructure and personnel, as well as the wounded, are under protection of international law. Once again, we observe that rather than stating ‘the militants committed a terrible crime’, we hear platitudes directed at ‘all sides in the conflict.’ Why not call the perpetrators for what they are: murderers?

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An open question remains why does the West effectively forgive such attacks? Why is international media not calling to unite in common action to fight radicalism? The Syrian opposition forgot it is ‘moderate’ a long time ago. Anyone  connected with international law can easily describe an attack on a hospital as a felony crime. This latest attack should be regarded as a calculated, cold-blooded murder of doctors.

White House’ press secretary Josh Earnest refused to discuss the incident at a press briefing in Washington on December 5. He didn’t say a word, stating, in passing, that the United States authorities are  allegedly worried about the fate of civilians. The press secretary overlooked the contradiction he had voiced. Wasn’t the Russian hospital linked to the fate of the people in Aleppo? At a later briefing, State Department spokesman Mark Toner realized the mistake of his compatriot and condemned the strike. But he added Washington could not confirm the report about the attack because of the ongoing fighting and the inability to gain access to the location of the tragedy.

Judging by the nature of the damage against the Russian hospital, it can be assumed that the terrorists had the exact coordinates of the facility’s location. Such information could be provided only by the Western backers of the opposition from the US, the UK and France. Despite this fact, the leadership of the international coalition continues to pretend they do not have any data on the perpetrators of the attack.

We can only hope that an objective and comprehensive investigation of the incident will be held someday. It will show exactly who gave to the militants the data and the coordinates of the hospital. The responsibility for this crime must be brought to its perpetrators, including those who ordered the mortar strike in the first place. Ordinary Syrians are tired of the indifference of the West, whose actions regularly cause the terrible situation with humanitarian and medical aid. We can only guess how many more civilians will die in Aleppo due to the lack of medical care.

Inside Syria Media Center will continue following the investigation of the December 5 attack on a field hospital in Aleppo.

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