Daily Press Briefing
April 14, 2016
On Syria, we were appalled to learn today of the death of Dr. Hassan Mohammed al-Araj in Hama, Syria – a doctor, of course – killed from an alleged airstrike. He was a widely respected and beloved medical professional in Syria, regarded throughout Hama and all of northern Syria for his talent and his selflessness. He was an innovative leader in providing urgent and much needed medical care to Syrians in need. He donated his hospital, in fact, to serve people for free, led the efforts to try to stabilize his own community, and was even developing underground hospitals, places where people could go to get to care when they were too afraid or unable to go to the main hospital.
Again, attacks against civilians, particularly medical professionals, are just abhorrent; and we continue to call on everybody, particularly the regime, to respect the right of medical professionals to do their jobs, who are simply trying to save lives. So again, we were appalled to learn of the death, and we offer our thoughts and prayers to everyone who knew him, and particularly to his friends and family.