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Expat Syrian doctors help bind up the wounds of war

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Syria Relief's efforts are part of a much wider response to the crisis at home from the diaspora – in Canada, the United States, Europe, and the Gulf region – many of whom met in London in January to discuss their work and call for support before a UN donor pledging conference to secure $1.5 billion for Syria.

Not only have hospitals and clinics in Syria been attacked. Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), one of the few foreign organizations working inside Syria, says the Syrian army has been waging war against health workers and services in rebel-held territory.

Doctors describe being targeted in bombing campaigns and risking death, detention, and torture to treat the wounded, whether civilians or fighters.

Many have left or been killed. One Syrian doctor, now a refugee in Turkey, told the International Rescue Committee he believed there were now only 36 doctors practicing in and around the city of Aleppo, compared with an estimated 5,000 before the uprising began.

Doing their best to fill the gap are expatriate doctors like Mounir, who have been able to work in Syria at a time when much of the country remains out of bounds to UN and international aid agencies.

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