Press Release

Civilian Casualties in Al Atareb and Aleppo City, Syria - Joint Statement

22 March 2021

The United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria, Mr. Imran Riza, and the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, Mr. Muhannad Hadi, strongly condemn the artillery shelling that caused significant civilian casualties on 21 March.


Artillery shells hit the Al Atareb Surgical Hospital (also known as Al Maghara Hospital), in Aleppo governorate. The incident has reportedly resulted in at least six deaths among patients and visitors, including a ten-year-old boy, and injured 16 civilians, including five medical staff. The hospital also sustained major damage, including to the orthopaedic and emergency clinics.

Civilian casualties have also been reported on 21 March in the neighbourhoods of Al Firdous and Al Saliheen in Aleppo City, as a result of artillery shelling. Reports indicate that two were killed and 17 people have been injured, including two children.

Mr. Riza and Mr. Hadi condemn these incidents and pass on the deepest of condolences to the families of all those who were killed or injured. Syria has been a dangerous place for all civilians, including humanitarian aid and health workers. Attacks on hospitals have seriously impeded access and the right to health, depriving life-saving care to civilians.

Mr. Riza and Mr. Hadi call on the parties to the conflict to respect the special protection afforded to hospitals as well as the prohibition of indiscriminate attacks, and their obligation to take all feasible precautions under international humanitarian law to ensure the protection of civilians.

For further information:
Danielle Moylan, Spokesperson OCHA Syria, Torsten Flyng, Strategic Communications Officer OCHA Regional Office for the Syrian Crisis,

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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Civilian Casualties in Al Atareb and Aleppo City, Syria - Joint Statement

Imran Riza

Imran Riza

Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator
Mr Riza (Pakistan) has over 30 years of international experience across the UN System. Before his appointment as RC/HC in Syria in September 2019, Mr. Riza was Deputy Head of Mission of UNIFIL and the Director of the Division of Political Affairs, Civil Affairs and Strategic Communications. He notably served as the UNHCR Regional Representative to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (2011-2014) and as UNHCR Representative in Jordan (2007-2011). He also worked for UNSCOL in Lebanon and for WFP in Italy.

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