At the request of Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), the Geospatial Technologies and Human Rights Project of the American Association for the Advancement of Science is using high-resolution satellite imagery to examine medical facilities throughout Syria. The purpose of this assessment is to verify reports of damage and destruction gathered by PHR. PHR has been documenting attacks on medical facilities and personnel in Syria as part of their Anatomy of a Crisis: A Map of Attacks on Health Care in Syria project through traditional news media, social media, and PHR’s network of ground contacts. Due to the violent conflict occurring across the country, it is difficult to verify reports of both the location and dates of damage. Satellite imagery analysis provides a means to perform this verification remotely.
AAAS produced an initial report, Assessing the status of medical facilities in Syria, in May 2014. Given the ongoing nature of the conflict, PHR has requested additional verification analysis of damage to medical sites. In June 2014, PHR provided the locations of 10 medical facilities that were suspected to have sustained damage. At 7 of these facilities, PHR had received reports of damage. In addition, PHR had stopped receiving status reports from 3 facilities. Satellite imagery analysis revealed damage to 2 of the 7 facilities where damage was reported and damage to 1 of the 3 facilities where status reports had not been received.