In an open letter to President Obama, 15 of the last remaining doctors in Aleppo called on the U.S. to intervene in the war-ravaged city.
“We have seen no effort on behalf of the United States to lift the siege or even use its influence to push the parties to protect civilians,” they wrote.
The letter went on to describe how the doctors have faced death on a daily basis for the last five years as the international community did little to protect them. In the last month in Syria, it said, there have been 42 attacks on hospitals and clinics.
“Right now, there is an an attack on a medical facility every 17 hours,” the letter said.
They wrote that they often have to choose which adult or child will live and which will die. Those with better chances of survival get priority.
“Despite the horror, we choose to be here,” the letter said. “We took a pledge to help those in need.”
The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights released a report this month saying that Aleppo had been under attack for 80 straight days, with 6,000 people either killed or injured.
The city has been an important battleground between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and the armed opposition arrayed against him.
Last week, a loose alliance of hard-line Islamist rebels spearheaded a powerful offensive on the city’s southwest side that broke a siege by government forces.
On Thursday, the government, bolstered by forces from Iran and the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, launched a major counteroffensive aimed at reimposing the siege.
The letter from the doctors ends with a plea for help: “We do not need tears or sympathy or even prayers, we need your action. Prove that you are friends of Syrians.”
Special correspondent Bulos reported from Beirut. Staff writer Shalby reported from Los Angeles.