As a deadly cholera outbreak spreads in Syria, doctors, aid workers, and civilians in the rebel-held northwest are bracing for impact, worried that a shortage of clean water, cramped living conditions, and limited healthcare options will provide a fertile breeding ground for the disease, The New Humanitarian reported. Cholera has killed at least 36 people and infected a suspected number of around 6,000 across the country since President Bashar al-Assad’s Ministry of Health declared an outbreak earlier this month. Duraid al-Rahmoun, head of primary care at the Idleb Health Directorate, fears the worst in a region where many people live in overcrowded and underserved camps and the healthcare system is in bad shape. “The outbreak of the disease in the region heralds a humanitarian catastrophe, both inside the camps and for the medical sector,” he told The New Humanitarian.
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An enlisted airman accused of attacking his fellow service members at a U.S. military outpost in Syria in April will face court-martial next year, the U.S. Air Force said Tuesday. Tech. Sgt. David Dezwaan, an explosive ordnance disposal technician with 15 years of service, is charged with three violations of the military code: the destruction of military property, reckless endangerment and aggravated assault. His trial is slated to run from March 6-16 at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. An active duty member of Hill’s 775th Civil Engineer Squadron, Dezwaan is accused of making and detonating bombs at Green Village, a small U.S. military base in northern Syria. He was deployed there as an explosives specialist after serving as his squadron’s noncommissioned officer in charge of EOD equipment. Air Force bomb disposal tech charged in April insider attack in Syria. Four service members who were injured in the blasts were treated for traumatic brain injuries. They returned to work later in April.
Russian air strikes in Syria have decreased since it invaded Ukraine in February, resulting in fewer deaths, a UK-based activist group said on Friday. A total of 241 people have been killed by Russian strikes in Syria during the past year. Most of these were Islamic State (IS) fighters, but the figure also includes 28 civilians, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, seven years to the day since Russia began its intervention in Syria. This marks the lowest annual death toll since Russia started its air strikes in Syria in support of the government of President Bashar al-Assad on 30 September 2015. “Russia’s role has generally declined in Syria since the start of the war on Ukraine,” said the Observatory, which relies on a network of sources on the ground in Syria.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that the Russian forces killed no fewer than 6,943 civilians in Syrian since the start of its military aggression on September 30, 205. The victims included 2,044 children and 977 women, the Network said, adding that the Russian forces committed at least 360 massacres in the same period. In a report issued on the seventh anniversary of the start of the Russian aggression, the Network said that the Russian forces killed 70 medical workers, 44 civil defence volunteers, and 24 media activists. All of them were killed in the provinces of Aleppo and Idleb. The monitoring group also said that the Russian forces carried out at least 1,243 attacks on vital civilian centers, including 223 schools, 207 medical facilities, and 60 public markets. Moreover, the Russian forces carried out no fewer than 237 attacks with the use of cluster munitions and 125 others with the use of incendiary weapons, the Network added.