If the 71 year old (strong) Dr. Beres can make it to Syria, then surely the relatively younger Drs. Gilbert and Fosse can chip in their share too? I am sure they must have a friend or two in Lebanon who could help them to get in to Syria, or maybe their friends happen to be Hizballah reps who now fear they will lose one of their protectors? Alternatively, they can now chat with Hamas buddies, who after having burned the Syria connection, perhaps might feel inclined tot lend a little brotherly love to their Syrian brother who had to house the terror outfits for so many years?
At the same time as Syrian government troops have launched a “clean up operation” against the civilian population of the besieged and bombed-out Syrian city of Homs, and as the number of fatalities is steadily growing to over 7000, one positive story from Homs has emerged.
The story is about the 71-year-old French physician, Dr. Jacques Beres, who left his comfortable life in Paris to help the wounded in Homs. He had to be smuggled in to Syria and has in the past two weeks been taking care of a large number of wounded and sick.
The “hospital” is located in a dark, abandoned building with only one operating table, a few beds and four helpers. Power blackouts were more or less constant.
Dr. Beres have treated 90 patients, of whom,nine died.
He is a surgeon and one of the founders of the organization “Doctors without borders”. He is believed to be the only foreign doctor who has managed to get into Syria.
- The place was so crowded that we had to zigzag between the stretchers, he said on his return to Paris. I treated people with all kinds of injuries. One day, 11 hospitalized persons died, some of them before I had time to take care of them. One of them, a beautiful young boy had been shot and almost split in two. I witnessed senseless suffering, brutality, cruelty and torture of children and adults.
Tension and sleepless nights
Furthermore, he told of weeks of tension and sleepless nights, the noise of the bombardment, the cold, broken streets, lack of food and lack of anesthetic masks for children.
He emphasized, however, the professionalism and friendly manner, motivation and intelligence of members of the opposition, the feeling of solidarity and the high morale, no matter what they had to tackle.
Dr. Beres was smuggled across the border from Lebanon to Syria in early February, with bags full of drugs, including various diagnostic instruments.
Jacques Beres, born in 1941, did his military service in Vietnam and studied war surgery at a French hospital in Saigon.
- The surgery was crude, he said, and some doctors were reluctant to use surgical techniques dating from WWI.
He has spent over 40 years in dangerous war zones around the world, including Vietnam, Liberia, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Chechnya, Iraq and recently in Libya.
- In Baghdad I often had to do surgery who a person held a lamp over my shoulders, he said.
He wants to go back to Homs, because “the need is great and international aid absent.”
- I do not know what Syria’s future will be – but I admire the Syrians, said the French doctor.
A true hero.