Up to 18 non-combatants were reported killed at Talbiseh by Russian aircraft in their first day of bombing in Syria.
Paramedic Omar Al Daqa, based at one of Talbiseh’s field hospitals, told VDC: “Around 10am, Russian warplanes launched several fierce airstrikes, targeting a number of neighbourhoods with vacuum missiles, including: Karameh, Bareed and Mashjer streets, as well as the city’s bread distribution center. The shelling was along one track with almost 100 meters between each missile. As a result, 17 civilians were killed, 34 were wounded and one is missing (probably torn into pieces).”
At least one of those killed – civil defence volunteer Abdul Latif al Duheik – died during a secondary strike.
A doctor named as ‘Abu Sham’ also noted that “We received 65 wounded with injuries from minor to critical. Among them, there were cases of suffocation as a result of dust and smoke. As for the martyrs,they were killed by the enormous pressure or shrapnel that pierced their bodies and tore some of them into pieces.“
18 Victims were named by VDC.
According to the Syrian state-run news agency SANA, Russian warplanes targeted “ISIS dens” in al-Rastan, Talbiseh and Zafaraniya in Homs province; Al-Tilol al-Hmer, in Qunaitra province; Aydoun, a village on the outskirts of the town of Salamiya; Deer Foul, between Hama and Homs; and the outskirts of Salmiya. Russian media made no mention of civilian casualties – with TASS referring only to “pinpoint airstrikes” against what were described as ‘ISIS targets.‘
Amnesty International later noted, “According to the testimony of two eyewitnesses whom Amnesty International interviewed, complementary testimony, audiovisual material of the direct aftermath of the attacks and reports received from human rights defenders in and from Homs there were no military targets in the vicinity and there were no military casualties. Armed groups allied with the Free Syrian Army controlled the area but were not located in the town itself.”
The incident occured at 10:00 am local time.
Reports of the incident mention an airstrike that targeted homes in Talbisah (تلبيسة). Investigating audiovisual material from sources, we narrowed the location of the airstrike to a block of buildings in the northern part of Talbisah, for which the exact coordinates are: 34.845002, 36.731549.