Wounded flood hospitals in Syrias largest city

first_imgAssociated PressALEPPO, Syria (AP) – It had been a calm day in Aleppo’s Shifa Hospital, said Dr. Osman al-Haj Osman, his face etched with exhaustion from just three hours of sleep. Then, a man burst in bearing the shrieking bundle of a 6-year-old girl who’d had a machine-gun bullet rip through both her knees.Two months into the battle for Syria’s largest city, civilians are still bearing the brunt of the daily assaults of helicopter gunships, roaring jets and troops fighting in the streets. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Forces loyal to President Bashar Assad have been increasingly relying on the government’s artillery and air power to fight the tenacious rebels who so far refuse to be dislodged from Aleppo.The city is Syria’s commercial hub, and its middle and upper classes were bastions of support for Assad. If the rebels took such a key city, it would give them a quasi-capital to complement the large swaths of territory they control in the north, up to the Turkish border.Osman said the rebels he treats mostly have gunshot wounds from the ubiquitous snipers scattered over the many front lines.The hospital itself has been hit directly twice by shells, demolishing two of the upper floors. Bombs fell nearby several times, spraying the entrance with shrapnel and debris.The hospital has a staff of only five doctors and no surgeons, so difficult cases are often farmed out to other facilities, including a hospital in the town of al-Bab, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) to the northeast.While there are enough drugs in the hospital so far to deal with the daily violence _ which on Monday killed 25 and wounded dozens in shelling believed to be in retaliation for the rebel capture of an army barracks _ the staff is overstretched. Top Stories “What day is it? I don’t know. What time is it? I don’t know,” Osman said, adding that he goes to sleep at 4 a.m. and wakes up at 8 a.m. _ unless he’s roused earlier for an emergency.“My life is just the wounded and the dead,” he said.Outside the hospital, in the surprisingly bustling neighborhood of Tareeq al-Bab, there is the sound of gunfire. A helicopter gunship is lazily circling the neighborhood and rebels on the roofs of the apartment buildings are futilely emptying the clips of their inadequate Kalashnikovs into the sky.Abu Hassan, who was once a carpenter, sells vegetables on the street facing the hospital because there is no other work. He navigates the tortuous jigsaw of rebel- and government-controlled neighborhoods every day.“When we are under bombardment, the water and electricity can be cut for days,” he said, explaining that if he had the money, he would try to follow the hundreds of thousands of other Syrians who have fled for the border. Since the uprising against Assad began 18 months ago, activists estimate that at least 23,000 people have been killed.The streets between the shattered apartment buildings are choked with garbage that can no longer be collected. Top holiday drink recipes Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more

Read more on Wounded flood hospitals in Syrias largest city