M2 Hospital


Pro-Government strikes on M2 hospital, Aleppo, Syria

June-December 2016

From June to December 2016, according to the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), the Omar Bin Abdul Aziz Hospital, also known as M2, has been subject to 14 strikes by pro-government forces. The strikes have been predominantly by air to surface missiles, but also included illegal cluster munitions, barrel bombs, naval mines, and artillery. The hospital sustained significant damage in this 6 month period which has put it out of service numerous times.

Photographs and videos taken in and around the hospital allow us to analyze some of the consequences of the strikes. Each piece of footage captures only a small part of the building, but composing and cross referencing them allows us to reconstruct the architecture of the building as a 3D model and locate the images of the bombings and their damage.The model becomes the medium through which we can navigate between the different images and videos of the incidents.

There are a number of CCTV cameras in the hospital that are continuously on, capturing every strike. We locate each camera and its orientation in the building. We integrate footage from the CCTV cameras, handheld videos, and photographs within virtual space.  Locating each video clip in space provides a tangible link between them, verifying their place and constructing their relation to each other.

One essential video which moves from inside-outside becomes a hinge to the geolocation of the hospital. By analyzing what we can see in the video we can demonstrate a common disposition of the built environment in satellite imagery. Due to the spatial link we created, we are able to anchor all footage to this exact location. We therefore establish the location and multiplicity of strikes and as a result raise questions about intent.

According to the UN, by mid-August 2016, Omar Bin Abdul Aziz Hospital was one of only three hospitals in Aleppo offering intensive care facilities, and the only hospital left with a pediatric department caring for children.

2016 was the most dangerous year for health workers in Syria (according to SAMS). SAMS verified 73 attacks in besieged Aleppo between June through December 2016. 14 of those attacks targeted M2 on the following dates:

June 3, 2016

June 14, 2016

July 14, 2016

July 16, 2016

August 1, 2016

August 5, 2016

August 11, 2016

September 23, 2016

September 26, 2016

September 28, 2016

November 18, 2016

December 04, 2016

December 14, 2016

Forensic Architecture team

  • Eyal Weizman (Principal Investigator)
  • Christina Varvia (Project Coordination)
  • Adam Noah (Research, 3D Modelling, Video Editing)
  • Nicholas Masterton (Image Projection, Animation, Video Editing)
  • Samaneh Moafi (Analysis, Video Editing)

Collaborating Organizations

  • Atlantic Council



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