Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Conflict’ Category

“Arson Terrorism”

Arson Terrorism

Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center:

A new method devised by Hamas during the “return marches” to attack the communities near the Gaza Strip and disrupt their daily lives.

“……The phenomenon of “arson terrorism” using kites, which began on a small scale during the third week of the violent “return marches,” has gathered momentum during the past few weeks, led by Hamas. In addition to incendiary kites, the use of helium balloons with flammable substances attached began, and later kites and balloons with IEDs attached. For Hamas, the advantage of helium balloons is that they can penetrate deep into Israeli territory and cause more damage than kites. Arson terrorism peaked on Saturday, June 16, 2018, when dozens of incendiary kites and balloons caused 25 fires which destroyed thousands of acres of crops, agricultural fields and natural forests. …..”

Syrian atrocities in eastern Ghouta: UN draft documents use of chemical weapons against civilians

NY Times

“……In attacks on Jan. 13, Jan. 22 and Feb. 1, the draft said, government forces fired chemical agents, “most probably chlorine,” into a residential part of eastern Ghouta’s Douma neighborhood, near a sports stadium, roughly 800 yards from the front lines, between 5 a.m. and 6:30 a.m.

Some witnesses described a “slow-acting agent” that smelled like chlorine, the draft said, and they had sufficient time “to rouse the victims, obtain wet cloths to serve as makeshift face masks, and evacuate the affected areas.”……..Thirty-one people, including 11 children, were sickened in the first three attacks, but none died. Two other episodes of possible chlorine use, on Feb. 25 and March 7, caused more extensive casualties, killing two children, including an infant, and injuring 18 civilians...…..”

Yemen’s humanitarian crisis can turn into a catastrophe with fighting at the port city of Hudaida

LA Times

  • Since early 2015, more than 10,000 people have been killed
  • Since 2015, some 2 million have been driven from their homes because of the fighting between a Saudi-led coalition and Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.
  • Some 22 million people, rely on aid
  • 8.4 million of them are facing famine.
  • The country has been plagued by the largest cholera epidemic in recorded history, with 1 million suspected cases
  • Meanwhile, Hudaida is home to about 600,000 people and a port responsible for 70 percent of imports into Yemen
  • The fighting in and around the port city could ignite a humanitarian catastrophe.

An Arab military coalition invaded Yemen’s main Red Sea port on Wednesday, worsening what is already the world’s most severe humanitarian disaster by disrupting the delivery of food and other supplies to millions of Yemenis.

NY Times

Gaza: Baby dies from tear gas

Washington Post

“…..The dead included at least seven children under the age of 18, among them a 15-year-old girl, the ministry said. The baby was eight months old and died after inhaling tear gas at the main protest area east of Gaza City…..”


Democratic Republic of Congo: A recent wave of brutal fighting has broken out in Ituri province leading to 260 deaths and the flight of hundreds of thousands.

NY Times


Chemical terrorism in Syria: A Chronology

NY Times

Chlorine Sarin Mustard

NY Times

NY Times



On Saturday, April 7th, at 7:45 PM local time, amidst continuous bombardment of residential neighborhoods in the city of Douma, more than 500 cases -the majority of whom are women and children- were brought to local medical centers with symptoms indicative of exposure to a chemical agent.

NY Times


“Following a brief ceasefire that only lasted for a couple of days, the city of Douma, East Ghouta, was again subjected to heavy shelling that resulted in dozens of casualties and hundreds of injuries. The attacks included the systematic targeting of medical centers and civil defense teams, resulting in the  the destruction of the majority of the civil defense centers and a large number of ambulances and rescue vehicles, heavily paralyzing the medical capacity of the city

On Saturday, April 7th, at 7:45 PM local time, amidst continuous bombardment of residential neighborhoods in the city of Douma, more than 500 cases -the majority of whom are women and children- were brought to local medical centers with symptoms indicative of exposure to a chemical agent. Patients have shown signs of respiratory distress, central cyanosis, excessive oral foaming, corneal burns, and the emission of chlorine-like odor.

During clinical examination, medical staff observed bradycardia, wheezing and coarse bronchial sounds. One of the injured was declared dead on arrival. Other patients were treated with humidified oxygen and bronchodilators, after which their condition improved. In several cases involving more severe exposure to the chemical agents, medical staff put patients on a ventilator, including four children. Six casualties were reported at the center, one of whom was a woman who had convulsions and pinpoint pupils. 

Civil Defense volunteers have reported more than 42 casualties found dead in their homes, with similar clinical symptoms of cyanosis and corneal burns. Civil defense volunteers were unable to evacuate the bodies due to the intensity of the odor and the lack of protective equipment. The reported symptoms indicate that the victims suffocated from the exposure to toxic chemicals, most likely an organophosphate element.

Following the chemical attack, the target site and the surrounding area of the hospital receiving the injured were attacked with an explosive barrel, which hindered the ability of the ambulances to reach the victims.

The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) and the Syrian Civil Defense (White Helmets) have documented nearly 200 uses of chemical weapons in Syria since 2012. Previous United Nations Security Council Resolutions on this matter have failed in stopping the use of chemical weapons in Syria.……”

Rescuers and medics say at least 70 people have died in Syria in a suspected gas attack in Douma



April 7, 1994: The Rwanda Genocide begins

History Channel

“….Rwandan armed forces kill 10 Belgian peacekeeping officers in a successful effort to discourage international intervention in their genocide that had begun only hours earlier. In less than three months, Hutu extremists who controlled Rwanda murdered an estimated 800,000 innocent civilian Tutsis in the worst episode of genocide since World War II. The Tutsis, a minority group that made up about 10 percent of Rwanda’s population, received no assistance from the international community, although the United Nations later conceded that a mere 5,000 soldiers deployed at the outset would have stopped the wholesale slaughter.….”



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