M. Zaher Sahloul

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Syrians evacuated from the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo during the ceasefire arrive at a refugee camp in Rashidin, near Idlib, Syria, on Dec. 20, 2016. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday that Russia, Iran and Turkey are ready to act as guarantors in a peace deal between the Syrian government and the opposition. He spoke on Tuesday after a meeting of the three countries' foreign ministers in Moscow.

"Mr. President, your legacy will depend on what you do in Syria," I said to President Barack Obama as I shook his hand during an event in the White House in the summer of 2013.

He grew more attentive. I told him about my recent medical mission to Aleppo, the attacks on hospitals and civilians by the regime of Bashar Assad and urged him to do something. At that point, fewer than 100,000 people had been killed in Syria, and there were only about 1 million refugees and few small-scale chemical weapons attacks.

Obama leaned forward, smiling, and said, "My legacy will be determined by other things also."…  Seguir leyendo »

A child in Aleppo, Syria, is asked to draw a picture at school.

He paints a world on fire: helicopters dropping bombs, a house collapsing into rubble. He draws himself, crying on his knees, surrounded by his friends -- dead, dismembered, decapitated, and bleeding.

This is the type of sad reality that we have seen far too often as physicians working inside Syrian field hospitals -- children across the country living in hell. It is time to act if we are to prevent such heartrending scenes being played endlessly into the future.

Every day we were in Syria we saw innocent people suffering and dying in abysmal conditions.…  Seguir leyendo »

“Working in a field hospital is like death,” a surgeon told us two weeks ago in Turkey, where more than two dozen Syrian doctors and other health workers had come for training. As if treating victims of the Syrian Army’s weapon of choice, the barrel bomb, wasn’t enough, they themselves were often victims of those same terrible devices.

International law is supposed to protect health workers treating anyone who is sick or wounded. Not in Syria: There, along with bakeries and schools, one of the most dangerous places to be is in a hospital or an ambulance. According to Physicians for Human Rights, more than 560 medical personnel have been killed and 155 medical facilities have been attacked since the conflict began, though based on our interviews these numbers are understated.…  Seguir leyendo »