WHO condemns the bombing of the the Jableh National Hospital hospital in Latakia province in Syria. Over 40 patients and accompanying family members were killed and 35 injured An emergency doctor and two nurses also died in the explosion while 11 other health workers have been wounded.

Due to the damage, the hospital is currently not functional and patients have been transferred to neighbouring hospitals.

Two additional explosions were reported in congested public places in Jableh bringing the total of casualties to 120 deaths and 300 wounded.

The attack on the hospital violates International Humanitarian Law. It is unacceptable that such attacks on health are increasing in both frequency and scale.

There have been reports of at least 17 attacks on health care facilities across Syria in 2016.

It is estimated that in Syria nearly 60% of public hospitals have closed or are only partially functional

The bombing represents a serious setback for the affected community and an additional challenge to humanitarian work in Syria.

WHO once again urges all parties in the conflict to respect the safety and neutrality of health workers and health facilities. Tragedies like this can and should be avoided, by warring parties consistently observing International Humanitarian Law and taking all necessary precautionary measures.