Two hospitals in Homs hit by suspected government air strikes while medical workers shot dead north of Damascus.
The UK-based human rights group Amnesty International has called for the evacuation of a 10-year-old Syrian girl who was shot in the leg by a sniper in the government-besieged town of Madaya, in the suburbs of Damascus.
In a statement released on Friday, the group urged the United Nations humanitarian task force in Syria, headed by United States and Russian authorities, to evacuate her for fear of her deteriorating health.
The organisation also launched an online petition that has garnered close to 6,000 signatures.
Ghina Wadi was shot on August 2 in her left leg en route to buy medicine for her mother, along with her eight-year-old sister, who also suffered minor injuries.
The bullet in her leg shattered her thigh, causing a complex bone fracture and severing of a nerve, according to Amnesty.
“The doctor said she needs surgery as soon as possible,” Diana Semaan, a researcher for Amnesty’s Syria team, told Al Jazeera.
Semaan also said the Syrian government has refused to provide the family with permission to evacuate the girl for further medical treatment not available in Madaya. Wadi was taken to a makeshift field hospital in the town, where she has been taking sedatives, including morphine, to ease the pain for 10 to 15 minutes at a time.
“There is a risk that her muscles in the left leg will be permanently shortened, causing walking abnormalities,” Semaan said.
The girl’s aunt, Fadah Jassem, who lives in the UK, has also urged for help.
“Knowing she [Wadi] is enduring so much pain and having no idea of when she might get treatment has been very difficult to stomach,” Jassem told Al Jazeera.
“She has limited access to painkillers and enduring tremendous levels of pain day and night […] It’s been impossible to understand why anyone would harm this innocent 10-year-old girl. So we just are trying to focus on getting her out for treatment rather than ask too many questions about how and why.”
Jassem also posted on her Facebook page on Friday saying: “The family are also now convinced she may never walk on her leg again.”
The rebel-held town of Madaya has been under siege by Syrian government forces and Hezbollah fighters loyal to President Bashar al-Assad since July 2015.
“We think it may have been Hezbollah forces who shot her with a sniper at a checkpoint. The town is under the control of the Syrian government, so it may have been either them or Hezbollah. It is not clear,” Neil Sammonds, another Amnesty Syria researcher, told Al Jazeera.
Civilians trapped in Madaya have witnessed a severe shortage of medical and aid supplies.
A report released last month by the US-based Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) organisation and the Syrian American Medical Society, showed that 86 people in the town have died from preventable deaths, including 65 from malnutrition and starvation, up until May 2016.
“Children in Madaya are at high risk of injury or death, as they may not recognise the danger of a checkpoint or know what a landmine is,” Elise Baker, a research coordinator at PHR, told Al Jazeera, estimating there are snipers stationed at 65 checkpoints and 12,000 landmines in the town, routinely targeting children, women and men.
The town’s only field hospital, lacking the surgical supplies, anesthetics and antibiotics needed to heal landmine and sniper wounds, is staffed by two dental students and a veterinarian, according to Baker.
“Between November 2015 and May 2016, five children died from landmine and sniper injuries in Madaya. Medical staff in Madaya knew they could not provide the treatment needed to save these children’s lives and requested evacuations for them. However, their requests were not granted and the children died as a result.”
Evacuations have in the past been granted on a very limited basis, with many continuing to suffer from treatable injuries.
The Syrian conflict, which began with peaceful protests in March 2011 against President Bashar al-Assad, has spiralled into a multi-sided civil war.
The death toll stands at more than 280,000 people killed, according to UN estimates.