Colleagues of Mohamed Waseem Maaz, the only pediatrician in the opposition areas of Aleppo city in northern Syrian who was killed in an air raid that struck the al-Quds hospital where he worked last week, expressed their fear that there are no other doctors to treat children in their areas, while calling on the international community to try to push for a ceasefire in Aleppo.
Regime warplanes have carried out intensified air raids over the last two weeks on residential districts under opposition control in the city of Aleppo, killing more than 200 civilians over the last 13 days, including 76 children, in addition to hitting the city hospital. The bombing of the al-Quds hospital last week killed 50 civilians, including five of the medical staff, one of whom was Dr. Maaz.
“Abou Bakr,” the director of the al-Quds hospital, said that Maaz was working almost 24 hours a day to save wounded children during the air raids on the city, saying he would continue caring for wounded children in the emergency section even after the end of his shift at the hospital.
Abou Bakr said: “The hospital shook at 21:30 when a vacuum bomb hit it. The bombing destroyed 90 percent of the emergency section, which was where Maaz was at the time, in addition to destroying 80 percent of one of the children’s clinics. Maaz had been working at the hospital for three years. Now we don’t know who will be able to save the children hit by shelling in Aleppo.”
He added: “Aleppo was excluded from the agreement between the United States and Russia, which included Lattakia and the Eastern Ghouta in the capital Damascus. Of course there are massacres there, but Aleppo has seen dozens of civilians killed almost daily in air raids by Russia and the regime.”
Dr. Mahmoud Zaazaa, who also worked at the hospital, said that words fail to describe Maaz. “He went outside the hospital after he heard the sound of shelling nearby, wanting to help the wounded, but a vacuum bomb struck the hospital, killing him.”
The raids by the regime and Russian warplanes on Aleppo have created a large stir on social media, as thousands of users have changed their personal account pictures to the color red, while thousands of Twitter users have reacted with the hashtag #AleppoIsBurning. Several Turkish provinces and countries around the world have seen demonstrations in solidarity with Aleppo.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.