DAMASCUS, (SANA) – In response to the misleading and provocative campaigns carried out by suspected organizations and channels, Syria on Wednesday sent messages to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), United Nations (UN) and the Human Rights Council (HRC).

In these messages, Syria pointed out that the Syrian government gave priority to its health sector in order to provide free health services to all its citizens through 124 public hospitals and 1919 health centers in addition to 387 private hospitals.

The messages outlined that the health institutions affiliated to the Health Ministry provided more than 30 million services and received about 4.5 million persons in the last 9 months, adding that the health centers have provided more than 24 million services.

The messages stressed that several external sides are insisting on using the health sector as a tool to achieve political ends, adding that the health sector suffered heavy losses in lives and materials as the armed terrorist groups targeted hospitals, health centers and medical and paramedic staffs.

The messages added that “For example, armed terrorist groups targeted al-Naimi Hospital in Homs and looted its equipment. 15 doctors and paramedics were martyred, 27 paramedics were injured by armed terrorist groups while trying to transport wounded citizens to hospitals.”

The messages added that there are organized kidnapping operations against doctors, paramedics and ambulance vehicles, adding that 129 ambulance vehicles were sabotaged, 17 hospitals were partly destroyed and some hospitals, such as al-Qsair Hospital in Homs, were looted.

The messages pointed out that the unjust sanctions imposed by the USA and some Arab and European countries resulted in a shortage of some medical equipment and materials.

The messages stressed that despite the aforementioned losses, workers at the health sector are continuing providing services to citizens within the available capabilities.

The messages also stipulated that Syria, despite those losses, stresses its right to protect its citizens adding that Syria is committed to the comprehensive reform program despite all external attempts at hindering them.

Concluding the letters, Syria condemned the unilateral procedures and sanctions imposed by some countries, condemning that criminal acts targeting the health institutions and medical staffs.

Syria held the external sides, which are funding and arming the armed terrorist groups with the aim of targeting the infrastructure institutions, including public and private hospitals, health centers and paramedic staffs, responsibility for these acts.

M. Nassr/ al-Ibrahim