Syria violence hits close to home for Valley doctors

Posted at 6:14 PM, Dec 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-15 11:55:03-05

The violence and bloodshed in Syria is hitting close to home for a group of Valley doctors, all part of the Syrian American Medical Society.

The group had 800 doctors nationwide, all from Syria, now settled and practicing in the United States. Dozens of them live in Arizona.

Dr. Zaki Lababidi, a Gilbert cardiologist is the president of the Phoenix chapter.

He said his heart broke with the coverage of the air raids and bloodshed when he saw the news in the war-torn city of Aleppo.

The group had built 20 hospitals and clinics in Aleppo. They provided medical supplies and paid staff working there as well.

Lababidi said they had not been able to send in any supplies for the last two months and had learned that they had lost most of their hospitals.

"We lost an Ob/Gyn clinic, trauma hospital, three ICU's, and two medical clinics. Also just today, I heard of three staff members that got injured," Lababidi said. "I cannot describe it, it is very sad, it is a form of genocide."

Aleppo is the second largest city in Syria. Lababidi said as soon as they got the green light, the group was ready to send in medical supplies, and whatever else was needed to help people injured in the violence there.

"People are describing the picture there, it is worse than World War 2," Labadidi said. "There are bodies all over the streets. Children are bleeding to death because nobody can provide medical care.

 He had hoped the international community would answer the calls for help being posted all over social media from desperate people trapped in Aleppo.

"This is something we will all look back on and say, 'Why this happened?' We should have done something," he said.