May 8, 2019

Urgent plea from medics and White Helmets struggling to save lives in northwest Syria

"In eight years, we have never witnessed such ferocious attacks on Idlib."

We are rescue workers, medics and humanitarians struggling right now to save our people from relentless Syrian regime and Russian airstrikes. In eight years, we have never witnessed such ferocious attacks on Idlib. We are devastated that the world has turned its back on us.

We fear that the full-scale military assault we have been dreading has begun. In the past 12 days alone, 122 civilians have been killed, 22 of them children. 13 hospitals and medical facilities have been bombed with patients still being treated inside.* On Sunday, three hospitals were destroyed in the space of just three hours. Kafranbel Surgical Hospital alone was bombed four times with only three to five minutes between each airstrike. Injured and sick, our patients had to run for their lives, some of them with their IVs still attached.

Already, one White Helmet volunteer has died in a double-tap strike when an airplane bombed a house and then circled back to bomb the people that had gathered to help. Separately, one of the White Helmets’ main warehouses was targeted and dozens of ambulances as well excavation vehicles used to lift people out of the rubble were destroyed. We feel responsible for the communities we serve and increasingly helpless with every blow to our capacity to save lives.

Time and time again we’ve witnessed attacks by the Syrian regime and Russia on hospitals and civil defence centres ahead of major escalations. We’ve seen it in Aleppo, East Ghouta, Daraa, and elsewhere. After those offensives, residents were forcibly displaced to Idlib — this time the people of Idlib have nowhere left to flee. With the Turkish borders closed to them, people are sleeping in the open air, without shelter.

The areas we are operating in are covered by a Russian and Turkish demilitarisation agreement that is supposed to protect civilians. But civilians are not being protected, they are being hunted. The whole time we are pulling survivors from the rubble, they are screaming the names of their children or parents or siblings and asking us if they are alive. In ambulances and in hospitals, we have the terrible job of informing them that their loved ones are dead. Many end up wishing they hadn’t made it. We are physically and emotionally exhausted and worry that the worst is yet to come.

To humans everywhere, we ask you to bear witness and spread the word about what’s happening in Idlib. Share our letter and send it to your politicians and journalists you might know.

To the guarantors of the demilitarisation agreement and members of the UN Security Council, we hold you accountable for every civilian life lost and demand you uphold your responsibility to stop the bombs.

To donor governments, we ask you to immediately allocate funding to allow the organisations on the ground to respond to the humanitarian crisis.


Scroll down for a full list of signers. The Syria Campaign has chosen to omit last names and professions of signers for security reasons. Journalists who would like to confirm details can contact [email protected]

Take Action

It’s up to us to act on the plea of doctors, nurses and rescue workers and spread the word about what’s happening in Idlib.

1. Contact your representatives

Contact your representatives, forward them this letter, and ask them what they’ll do to save 4.5 million civilians in northwest Syria. Please forward any replies to [email protected] so we can follow up. 

2. Spread the word

Share the open letter from doctors and rescue workers on Facebook:

Tweet the open letter:

3. Donate

To help replace life-saving equipment deliberately destroyed in the airstrikes, donate to the White Helmets now.

4. Tweet 

Tweet the Russian Foreign Ministry and let them know we’re demanding an end to their bombing civilians:

Tweet the Turkish Foreign Ministry to uphold the demilitarisation agreement:

Tweet the US Secretary of State to act for Idlib:


  1. Aisha, Maarat Nauman
  2. Amal, Khan Sheikhoun
  3. Bilal, Idlib
  4. Bakri, Idlib
  5. Narmeen, Talamans, Maarat Nauman
  6. Khadija, Talamans, Maarat Nauman
  7. Dahouk, Talamans, Maarat Nauman
  8. Rahaf, Darat Izza, Western Rural Aleppo
  9. Ahmad, Darat Izza, Western Rural Aleppo
  10. Batoul, Hreitan, Northern Rural Aleppo
  11. Maria, Kafr Hamra, Aleppo
  12. Omar, Qurqania
  13. Shaza, Kherbat Al Joz
  14. Omar, Idlib
  15. Boushra, Aleppo
  16. Hiyam,Talamans, Maarat Nauman
  17. Fouad, Anadan
  18. Azza, Kaljibrin
  19. Mustafa, Idlib
  20. Abdulsater, Talamans, Maarat Nauman
  21. Banaa, Jisr El Shughour
  22. Hassan, Saraqeb
  23. Hamza, Idlib
  24. Ziad, Khan Sheikhoun
  25. Amal, Aleppo
  26. Hatem, Maarat Misreen
  27. Yehya, Idlib
  28. Maen, Idlib
  29. Walid Quryat Shanan
  30. Leith, Saraqeb
  31. Sobhi, Ariha
  32. Mosaab, Al Tamanah
  33. Abdullatif, Al Dana, Idlib
  34. Nour, Talamans, Maarat Nauman
  35. Hassan, Killi
  36. Samer, Darkoush, Jisr El Shughour
  37. Jamal, Al Dana, Idlib
  38. Mohammad, Maarat Nauman
  39. Tarek, Balyoun, Idlib
  40. Hassan, Tel Toukan
  41. Majd, Sarmada
  42. Ahmad, Jisr El Shughour
  43. Radi, Idlib
  44. Bassam, Kafr Takharim
  45. Al Hakem, Deir Hassan
  46. Moataz, Maaret Hurmah,
  47. Amin, Sfuhen
  48. Ammar, Sarmada
  49. Abdalwaheb, Jisr El Shughour
  50. Abdalrazzak, Idlib
  51. Nadim, Salqin
  52. Amer, Jisr El Shughour
  53. Mohammad, Ariha
  54. Abdullatif, Binnish
  55. Moaz, Maarat Nauman
  56. Mohammad Faisal, Al Ghadafa
  57. Houssam, Bidama
  58. Abdulkader, Sarmeen
  59. Tharwat, Kaljibrin
  60. Jamil, Aleppo
  61. Mohammad, Khan Sheikhoun
  62. Mohammad, Kafranbel
  63. Ahmad, Sarmada
  64. Dr Ahmad, Atareb
  65. Dr Sobhi, Idlib
  66. Dr Yasir El
  67. Dr Anwar, Azaz
  68. Dr Badie, Taftanaz
  69. Fadel, Kafr Zeita
  70. Dr Majd, Azaz
  71. Abo Abdo, Idlib
  72. Ghaydan, Al Hawash
  73. Omar, Deir Al Sharqi, Maarat Nauman
  74. Yasser, Kafr Nabuda
  75. Dr. Mahmood, Lataminah
  76. Ahmad, Kafr Zeita
  77. Adel Khaled, Qalaat Al Madiq, Hama
  78. Ahmad, Al Dana
  79. Dr Rashed, Northern Rural Aleppo
  80. Ahmad, Rural Hama
  81. Dr Mohammad, Hama
  82. Safwan, Kafr Zeita
  83. Dr Abdulmonem, Lataminah
  84. Dr Abdulraheem, Al Bata
  85. Mohammad, Idlib
  86. Abdulrazzak, Idlib
  87. Hassan, Atmeh
  88. Anas, Kfarlucine
  89. Issa, Lataminah
  90. Luay, Termanin
  91. Walaa, Hama, Madiq
  92. Wasim, Aleppo Suburbs
  93. Abdul Azizi, Afrin
  94. Abdullah, Idlib
  95. Badieaa, Hama, Madiq
  96. Mustafa, Marrat Hurma
  97. Abdullah, Kafrnbouda
  98. Saher, Ehsem
  99. Mahmoud, Kfarnbouda
  100. Mohammad, Idlib
  101. Khaled, Ghadfeh
  102. Saddam, Maarat Naasan
  103. Nour, Al Frerieh
  104. Ghazzan, Al Frerieh
  105. Abdelaziz, Al Frerieh
  106. Ahmad
  107. Omar, Afrin
  108. Khaled, Al Zerbeh
  109. Ahmad, Idlib
  110. Baraka, Muraat Numman
  111. Dr Ahmad, Al Zerbeh
  112. Abdo, Al Zerbeh
  113. Khaled, Al Zerbeh
  114. Mariam, Al Zerbeh
  115. Razan, Al Zerbeh
  116. Khaled, Aleppo
  117. Assaad, Aleppo
  118. Dr Hassan, Hama
  119. Dalal, Al Zerbeh
  120. Raeda, Western Rural Aleppo
  121. Fadi, Al Lataminah
  122. Mohammad, Idlib
  123. Rasha, Al Ramadiah
  124. Dr Mohammad, Idlib
  125. Hassan, Aleppo
  126. Shireen, Qalaat Mudiq
  127. Nidal, Taramlah
  128. Youssef, Azaz
  129. Halimah, Al Frerieh
  130. Shadi, Hweir Al Eis, Aleppo
  131. Tamer, Al Zerbeh
  132. Hael, Taramlah
  133. Shaza, Harem
  134. Dr Moahmmad, Al Atareb
  135. Dr Marwa, Ariha
  136. Dr Mohammad, Hour
  137. Abu Mohammad, Idlib
  138. Khaled, Al Jibeen
  139. Dr Mohammad, Idlib province
  140. Samar, Deir Al Sharqi
  141. Youma, Atmeh
  142. Mohammad, Qalaat Al Madiq
  143. Walaa, Northern Rural Hama
  144. Ahlam, Atmeh
  145. Omar, Atmeh
  146. Ahmad, Al Nairab, Idlib
  147. Khaled, Khan Sheikhoun
  148. Mustafa, Jisr Shughour
  149. Nassif, Rural Aleppo
  150. Dr Dureid, Idlib
  151. Maher, Qalaat Madiq
  152. Manal, Idlib
  153. Ahmad, Idlib
  154. Moab, Haas
  155. Abdulqader, Idlib
  156. Mustafa, Kfar Nuran
  157. Abdulaziz, Harem
  158. Rasheed, Al Hanboushiyah
  159. Abdullah, Khan Sheikhoun
  160. Adel, Al Maouzrah
  161. Mohammad, Kfar Nabuda
  162. Marwa, Atmeh
  163. Khaled, Kafr Sijnah
  164. Alaa, Kafranbel
  165. Abdulkader, Khan Sheikhoun
  166. Khaled, Kfar Nabdula
  167. Mohammad, Ariha
  168. Atoush, Kafr Zeita
  169. Assaad, Idlib
  170. Ahmad, Marea
  171. Ahmad, Idlib
  172. Samer, Aleppo
  173. Samia, Idlib
  174. Abdullah Kafr Zeita
  175. Fady, Atmeh
  176. Amani, Atmeh
  177. Amneh, Atmeh
  178. Jihad, Atmeh
  179. Rifaat, Al Ghab
  180. Dr Manahl, Kafranbel
  181. Reem, Ariha
  182. Nazih, Idlib
  183. Nidal, Southern Rural Idlib
  184. Salah, Atmeh
  185. Dr Matouf, Atmeh
  186. Ahmad, Atmeh
  187. Omar, Atmeh
  188. Abdulsater, Haas
  189. Mahmoud, Saraqeb
  190. Rami, Kafr Sijnah
  191. Raghad, Atmeh
  192. Ola, Ariha
  193. Jala, Ariha
  194. Ayoush, Atmeh
  195. Atimad, Al Lataminah
  196. Ahmad, Haas
  197. Mohammad, Atmeh
  198. Ahmad, Kfar arouk
  199. Hend, Ariha
  200. Zaquan, Atmeh
  201. Adnan, Rural Hama
  202. Aya, Ariha
  203. Hassan, Idlib
  204. Zaquan, Ariha
  205. Saad, Idlib
  206. Mohammad, Maaret Dibseh
  207. Mustafa, Qah, Idlib
  208. Abdulrazek, Kfar Nabuda
  209. Qusay, Kfar Sijnah
  210. Mahmoud, Ariha
  211. Rola, Ariha
  212. Rabiaa, Atmeh
  213. Khaled, Idlib
  214. Ahmad, Idlib
  215. Ezzedine, Hama
  216. Osama, Maarat Nauman
  217. Abdul Kareem, Idlib
  218. Khaled, Atmeh
  219. Hassan, Saraqb
  220. Omar, Maarat Nauman
  221. Wessal, Idlib
  222. Moussa, Atmeh
  223. AA, Idlib
  224. Dr Houssam, Haas
  225. Rama, Maarat Nauman
  226. Abdulhay, Atmeh
  227. Houssam, Idlib
  228. Moaed, Kfar Takhareem
  229. Bilal, Idlib City
  230. Houssam, Idlib
  231. Abdulkader, Al Atareb
  232. Asmahan, Salqeen
  233. Mahmoud, Kafr Zeita
  234. Zakaria, Idlib
  235. Abdullah, Hama
  236. Naji, Ariha
  237. Dibo, Idlib
  238. Abdulkareem, Kelli
  239. Hassan, Sarmada
  240. Fadi, Kafranbel
  241. Mohammad, Kelli
  242. Ahmad, Idlib
  243. Omar, Sarmada
  244. Ahmad, Kfar Dariyan
  245. Yasser, Kfar Dariyan
  246. Ghassoun, Al Atareb
  247. Mohammad, Idlib
  248. Abddulrazzak, Maarat Hermeh
  249. Najdat, Idlib
  250. Fatema, Kafr Zeita
  251. Nidal, Marat Nauman
  252. Neamat, Maarat Nauman
  253. Naama, Kfar Nabdula
  254. Mohammad, Tarmaneen
  255. Mohammad, Idlib
  256. Hassan, Kfar Nabuda
  257. Ayman, Idlib City
  258. Louay, Abeen
  259. Sobhi, Maarat Misreen
  260. Abdulrahman, Kafr Zeita
  261. Adnan, Kafr Zeita
  262. Mayada, Kafr Zeita
  263. Moataz, Idlib
  264. Qutaiba, Sarmada
  265. Youssef
  266. Manar, Marat Misrin
  267. Maher, Latamneh
  268. Mohamed, Kafr Zeita
  269. Mohamed, Mhambel
  270. Fatima, Atmah
  271. Abdullah, west Aleppo countryside
  272. Ghiath, Hota
  273. Asmaa, Kafr Zeita
  274. Ahmad, Atareb
  275. Mouna, Kafr Zeita
  276. Salah, Darat Azza
  277. Louay, Idlib
  278. Mohamed, Marat Misrin
  279. Ahmad, Atareb
  280. Faisal, Urem
  281. Ahlam, Idlib
  282. Majd, Marat Misrin
  283. Ahmad, Atareb
  284. Munzer, Babka
  285. Fatima, Kafrouma
  286. Safa, Idlib
  287. Ramadan, Aleppo
  288. Ahmad, Aleppo
  289. Fidaa, Atareb
  290. Samiha, Idlib
  291. Ahmad, Marea
  292. Mouna, Idlib
  293. Ahmad, Darat Azza
  294. Hasam, Urem
  295. Abdulnasser, Sarmada
  296. Jouhayna, Kah
  297. Ramia, Has
  298. R. H., Idlib
  299. Mahmoud, Anjara
  300. Aya, Ariha
  301. Reem, Kafranbel
  302. Hamdo, Idlib
  303. Mariam, Atamh
  304. Ibtisam, Deir Hassan
  305. Hasan, Kafranbel
  306. Ahmad, Kelli
  307. Batoul, Kafr Zeita
  308. Mohamed, Idlib
  309. Mehyo, Kafr Nouran
  310. Mohamed, Idlib
  311. Houda, Kafr Nouran
  312. Bilal, Aleppo
  313. Fatima, Atmah
  314. Bassam, Urem
  315. Mohamed, Kafr Zeita
  316. Mohamed, Kafr Zeita
  317. Safa, Saraqib
  318. Aya, Maarat Numan
  319. Hasan, Atmah
  320. Ghassan, Idlib
  321. Mohamed, Has
  322. Hayat, Has
  323. Akram, Sarmada
  324. Abdullah, Marat Misrin
  325. Mohamed, Atareb
  326. Younes, Atareb
  327. Abdullah, west Aleppo countryside
  328. Zainab, Idlib
  329. Moutaz, Jabal al-Zawiya
  330. Doha, Maarat Numan
  331. Shiraz, Idlib
  332. Hamed, Idlib
  333. Ammar, Basartoun
  334. Marie, Sarmada
  335. Hussein, Maarat Numan
  336. Ahmad, Aleppo
  337. Ahmad, al-Bara
  338. Boushra, Ariha
  339. Abdulaziz, Maarat Numan
  340. Sumaya, Idlib
  341. Wisal, Ariha
  342. Mariam, Ihsim
  343. Rouhiya, Jabal al-Zawiya
  344. Aya, Ariha
  345. Safa, Ariha
  346. Mahmoud, Aleppo
  347. Mohamed, Harbanoush
  348. Dalal, Idlib
  349. Nahla, Saraqib
  350. Aminah, Ihsim
  351. Ikhlas, Ariha
  352. Samer, Kastoun
  353. Alaa, Kafr Nabuda
  354. Ahmad, Marea
  355. Dr. Wisam, Marea
  356. Fares, Kafranbel
  357. Mohamed, Kafranbel
  358. Mohamed, Kafranbel
  359. Shadi, Kafranbel
  360. Dr. Ahmad, Kafranbel
  361. Raed, Kafranbel
  362. Ali, Kafranbel
  363. Ahmad, Kafranbel
  364. Yaman, Kafranbel
  365. Abd, Idlib
  366. Firas, Kafranbel
  367. Nafea, Has
  368. Mohamed, Kafranbel
  369. Dr. Mustafa, Maarat Numan
  370. Mohamed, Kafranbel
  371. Ahed, Kafranbel
  372. Ahmad, Kafranbel
  373. Mustafa, Jabal al-Zawiya
  374. Yousef, Kafranbel
  375. Ahmad, Idlib
  376. Mohamed, Aleppo
  377. Luqman, Kafranbel
  378. Hassan, Kafrouma
  379. Maan, Has
  380. Dr. Mohamed, Kafranbel
  381. Ahmad, Kafranbel
  382. Nazeer, Kafranbel
  383. Khaled, Kafranbel
  384. Zubayda, Kafranbel
  385. Mustafa, Khan Sheikhoun
  386. Younes, Kafranbel
  387. Abdulmonem, Daret Azza
  388. Samer, Ibzimo
  389. Nour, Daret Azza
  390. Mohamed, Sahhara
  391. Dr. Ahmad, Salqeen
  392. Hajmat, Atmah
  393. Abdulrahman, Atareb
  394. Dr. Tajeddin, Tamanaa
  395. Dr. Munzer, Idlib