In January 2018, the rate of attacks on health facilities in Syria was one every 24 hours. This rate is higher than that in January 2017, where one attack was reported every three days.
On 2 January, at 5 p.m., three airstrikes forced the Al Magara Cave Hospital in Kafr Zeita in rural Hama out of service. No casualties were reported. Built 20 meters underground, the hospital is considered to be among the most protected hospitals in Syria. On 1 February, the same hospital was put out of service after it was hit with five missiles. According to the Union for Medical Care and Relief Organizations, the facility serves a population of 50,000 people and performs about 151 major surgery procedures a month.
On 3 January, at 11:30 a.m., Al Salam maternity and pediatric hospital in Maarrat Al Numan, Idlib, was hit by an airstrike. One patient died. Among those injured is Dr. Bashar Yousef, the only pediatric doctor at the hospital. The facility went out of service.The hospital came under attack three times during that week.
On 8 January, at 3:35 p.m., an airstrike hit a surgical hospital in Kafr Zeita in Hama. The facility went out of service, and no casualties were reported. Ten days later, a blood bank in Saraqib, serving at least 700 patients per month, was targeted with airstrikes and went out of service.
On 29 January, two airstrikes hit Al Ihsan Hospital in Saraqib, killing five people and injuring several others, including medical staff. The hospital went out of service.
In December 2016, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 71/248 establishing the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIM) for Syria. The purpose of the mechanism is to gather information and evidence to prepare case studies for national, regional or international courts and tribunals that will have jurisdiction over these cases in the future. UN member states are urged to support the mechanism’s annual operating needs.