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Snapshots from Northern Syria

15 August 2017

Raqqa is the only major Syrian city fully under IS control. And the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) supported by an international coalition are leading the battle to capture the city. People are trapped inside Raqqa and have little chance of escaping. The IDP’s camp located in Ayn Issa, 55 km north of Raqqa, shelter around 8,000 people who mostly fled Tabqa, a town retaken by the SDF in May. In Ayn Issa camp, an MSF team manages the water supply and is providing primary health care and stabilizing wounded patients before referring them to Kobane hospital where another MSF team is working.

Sick and injured civilians within and outside Raqqa city, in Syria are facing major difficulties obtaining urgent life saving medical care due to the ongoing battle to control the northeastern Syrian city. “Patients tell us large numbers of sick and wounded people are trapped inside Raqqa city with little or no access to medical care and scant chance of escaping the city,” says Vanessa Cramond, MSF medical coordinator for Turkey and northern Syria. “On 29 July, in the span of a few hours, our team treated four people, including a five-year-old, who sustained gunshot wounds as they were fleeing Raqqa city. We are extremely concerned for the lives of those who can’t get out.”

The limited number of patients treated by MSF who managed to flee  Raqqa city say that the only way to leave is by being smuggled out, causing dangerous delays in accessing urgent medical treatment.