The World in 2:00 – January 5, 2015

The World in 2:00 – January 5, 2015

By Luke Vargas   

What the Islamic State's appeal for western-educated doctors says about conditions in the caliphate.

From U.N. headquarters in New York, this is your “World in 2:00.” I’m your host Luke Vargas for Talk Media News.


Members of the terrorist group the Islamic State are taking to social media, appealing to western-educated doctors to join the group and help provide medical assistance.

In one appeal repeatedly issued since last year but just now translated into English, a British IS fighter named Omar Hussain notes that, “I have been to the hospitals up and down the State and so many hospitals lack not only man power but also doctors who are qualified for their jobs.”

He adds that the situation is so bad now that many fighters die from basic wounds and unsanitary conditions in hospitals.

Widney Brown is the Director of Programs for the NGO Physicians for Human Rights, which has been watching the situation in Syria:

“What they’re trying to do is to establish have legitimacy as an entity [to] govern, so they actually want to ensure civilians under the territory they control that they can provide healthcare and of course since they’re recruiting fighters from all over the world, they want to ensure them that they can get treatment if they’re injured in the course of fighting.”

Brown says the Assad government is particularly unsparing of medical infrastructure when it targets Islamic State cities, but she says western airstrikes against I.S. capital of Raqqa have done their fair share of damage, too:

“What we’re hearing is that the bombing campaign has been utterly devastating for civilians in destroying the infrastructure across the city without necessarily having any particular impact on ISIS itself, and that includes health care.”

It’s hard to sympathize with injured Islamic State fighters, but remember, cities like Raqqa are packed with civilians, too. Civilians the Islamic State prevents from leaving.


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