The United Nations’ World Health Organization, which claims “impartiality and independence from external sources and authorities” in its operations, has been quietly cooperating with Syria’s murderous Assad regime in one of the ugliest aspects of its civil war: the weaponization of blood.

WHO claims to be impartial, dispensing relief from suffering according to need, and openly admits it has supplied the Assad defense ministry’s blood bank “since the beginning of the conflict,” according to a spokesperson, with more than $5.1 million worth of specialized blood storage bags and blood testing kits, intended to keep the military-administered blood supply fresh and free of contamination from HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and other blood-borne diseases.

The U.N. agency has steadfastly asserted that it maintains an arms-length relationship with the militarized Syrian national blood bank, providing supplies “through” Assad’s more palatable ministries of health and higher education (which controls some teaching hospitals). That is a legal fig-leaf: as the U.N. agency itself acknowledges, the supplies still end up with the national blood bank, just via an intermediary.

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Image courtesy of The United Nations