‘Waiting for the world’: An interview with one of Aleppo’s last doctors

Christoph Reuter reports: For almost four years now, eastern Aleppo has been the target of bombing by the Syrian air force, with Russia joining the bombardment as of last September. The cease-fire announced in February only briefly changed the situation. Beginning in April, the Syrian army again increased its targeting of civilians.

The most tragic bombing occurred close to three weeks ago, when the regime’s warplanes fired rockets and destroyed the al-Quds hospital, which is supported by Doctors without Borders. More than 50 people died, including Muhammad Waseem Moaz, one of the last remaining pediatricians in the city.
Prior to the war, thousands of doctors worked in the city, which was once home to a million people. In the eastern part of Aleppo, only around 30 doctors remain today. Osama Abo El Ezz, a 30-year-old surgeon, is one of the few still holding out.

At the beginning of the telephone interview with SPIEGEL, the doctor said that our discussion might be repeatedly broken off if he had to perform an emergency operation or if jets approached the hospital.

SPIEGEL: Did the April 27 attack on the al-Quds hospital have an impact on you and your work?

Ezz: Absolutely, even if they aren’t bombing us, we still run to the cellar every time jets appear over the city. They are able to target much more precisely than they could before when they dropped their untargeted barrel bombs. They were savagely powerful, but they hit their target less often. Today they do hit their targets. And they obviously want to hit and kill the last doctors and nurses in eastern Aleppo. [Continue reading…]

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