Russian Military in Syria

A Russian combat aircraft at Khmeimim airbase in Syria being prepared for action. (Russian Ministry of Defence)

Belligerent
Russian Military
Country
Syria
start date
end date
Civilian Harm Status
Belligerent Assessment
Declassified Documents
Infrastructure

Incident Code

R4630

Incident date

November 25, 2023

Location

قوقفين, village of Qoqfin in Jabal al-Zawiya, Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

During the morning of Saturday, November 25, 2023, an artillery shelling allegedly perpetrated by Syrian regime forces and/or Russian forces on the village of Qoqfin in Jabal al-Zawiya, south of the town of Idlib, killed at least 10 and up to 11 civilians who were working in the olive fields harvesting olive crop, including at least seven children one woman and two men, and injured at least one woman, 50-year old Khadija Ibrahim. Khadija was the only survivor of the deadly attack in which she lost her husband and their three children.

All the victims were relatives and belonged either to one or two related families. Some sources reported that “several” civilians were injured. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), nine people died immediately on the spot, and one child died later as a result of the inflicted injuries. SOHR added that the number of the victims could rise as some wounded were in serious condition. Later Twitter/X accounts @zelal_katee and @molhamteam reported that the number of the victims reached 11. The Twitter/X user @alaaaldin_yousf posted pictures from the funerals of the victims. According to Abdul Hamid Qatini, a volunteer in the Syrian Civil Defense, the attack happened in the morning.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) reported that the Syrian regime artillery forces allegedly fired multiple shells at Qoqfin village. Referring to a local source, Rozana news informed that the artillery shelling came from the positions of Syrian regime forces in the Shulin area, close to the village. Enab Baladi news added that “the Syrian regime’s artillery and missile bombardment coincided with the flight of Russian reconnaissance planes over the area since the early hours of the morning”, so the Russian military might have allegedly supported this attack. Where sources identified the belligerent, the majority of the sources attributed the strike to Syrian regime forces, with a number of sources attributing the bombing to both Russian forces and Syrian regime forces, or to Russian forces only.

The Syrian Human Rights Committee (SHRC) news as well as the Facebook post by Omran Shnan included the names of the identified victims of the attack. 50-year old Abdullah Muhammad Al-Saeed, presumably Khadija Ibrahim’s husband, was killed together with their three children – four-year old Hussein Abdullah Al-Saeed, 12-year old Asmaa Abdullah Al-Saeed and 16-year old Ahmed Abdullah Al-Saeed. Among the victims was also 48-year old Aisha Muhammad Al-Saeed, 20-year old Ibrahim Abdullah Qadi, 15-year old Huda Abdullah Qadi, 16-year old Heba Abdullah Qadi and three-year old Amna Abdullah Qadi. It was reported by SHRC news that the tenth victim was not identified. The name of the child who died from the injuries later was not provided in the sources either.

The Syrian Civil Defense reported that its crew had recovered the bodies of some of the victims of the strike and transported the injured people to the hospital, amid “great difficulty in reaching them due to regime forces monitoring the area”. It also featured the injured Khadija Ibrahim being transported to the hospital.

Additionally, the Civil Defense posted on Twitter/X social media platform a video and pictures from the place of the deadly attack where one can see a cap and a toy horse, accompanying it with the words full of grief: “It was a place full of life and hope, the happiest moments after a year of waiting to harvest the olives, turned into a tragedy… everything was scattered… bodies, souls and dreams… a scene repeated every season and a different kind of war that haunts the residents in their daily livelihood.”

Journalist M. faisal (@mhmdfaisel) also shared an emotional video on Twitter/X social media platform where he was standing in the the olive fields holding a toy horse that belonged to one of the deceased children in his hands and speaking about the children who had lost their lives in this attack.

In another touching video shared by the Syrian Civil Defense, a young boy Ahmed who lost his mother and five siblings in this incident was shown crying “I want my mother… I want to see my mother.”

The incident occured in the morning.

The victims were named as:

Family members (10)

Abdullah Muhammad Al-Saeed عبدالله محمد السعيد
50 years old male killed
Khadija Ibrahim خديجة إبراهيم
50 years old female injured
Hussein Abdullah Al-Saeed حسين عبدالله السعيد
4 years old killed
Asmaa Abdullah Al-Saeed أسماء عبدالله السعيد
12 years old killed
Ahmed Abdullah Al-Saeed أحمد عبدالله السعيد
16 years old killed
Aisha Muhammad Al-Saeed عائشة محمد السعيد
48 years old killed
Ibrahim Abdullah Qadi إبراهيم عبد الله قدي
20 years old killed
Huda Abdullah Qadi هدى عبد الله قدي
15 years old killed
Heba Abdullah Qadi هبة عبدالله قدي
16 years old
Amna Abdullah Qadi أمنة عبد الله قدي
3 years old

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian infrastructure
    Agriculture
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    10 – 11
  • (7 children1 woman2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Impact
    Food
    Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
  • Suspected attackers
    Syrian Regime, Russian Military

Sources (53) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (47) [ collapse]

  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
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    Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @nahermedia
  • Source: @aboalhodaalhoms
  • Source: @molhamteam
  • Source: @molhamteam
  • Source: @alaaaldin_yousf
  • Source: @alaaaldin_yousf
  • Source: @alaaaldin_yousf
  • Source: @alaaaldin_yousf
  • Source: SNHR news
  • Source: Omar al Baw
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    Source: Mohammed Al Abdo
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    Source: Mohammed Al Abdo
  • Source: Abo Amin 80 observatory
  • Source: Abo Amin 80 observatory
  • Source: Abo Amin 80 observatory
  • Source: Abo Amin 80 observatory
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Syrian Regime Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime
  • Syrian Regime position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian infrastructure
    Agriculture
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    10 – 11
  • (7 children1 woman2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Impact
    Food
    Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
  • Suspected attackers
    Syrian Regime, Russian Military

Sources (53) [ collapse]

Incident Code

R4593

Incident date

October 7, 2023

Location

أريحا, Ariha, Idlib, Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

On Saturday, October 7th 2023, one civilian was killed and ten civilians, including two children (one boy) with serious injuries, were wounded by an alleged artillery attack by the Russian military and/or Syrian regime and/or Iranian forces. Reportedly, Mustafa Wadah Ghandoura was killed; Anwar Eido Al Deek, Abdulqader, Samer Ahmed and Mohammed Imad Qar’iya were among the injured. The alleged artillery attack damaged civilian homes in the city of Ariha, south of Idlib, including two fires in civilian homes.

Multiple sources reported on the event. Notably, Syrian Civil Defense reported civilian harm tolls throughout the day and ultimately concluded: “A civilian was killed and 10 civilians were injured, including two children, as a result of artillery shelling by regime forces targeting the city of Ariha, south of Idlib, which was targeted by regime forces several times during the day.” Other sources only reported on civilian casualties without providing a toll.

In an image posted by @SyriaCivilDefe, a mother is seen with her injured son: “In the presence of her injured son and her dearest son, “Muhammad,” she gently leans toward him, kisses his foot, and begs him to recover. Her face frowns with worry and fear, and she hopes that the danger will go away from him, with her eyes full of prayers and hope.”

In another video posted by @SyriaCivilDefe, a father is saying goodbye to his son who was killed as his body is being placed in a black bag while others try to comfort him in his sorrow.

Mahmoud Al-Othman, a volunteer in the Syrian Civil Defense spoke about trying to comfort civilians during the bombardment of Ariha: “Talin, a two-year-old girl, was crying unnaturally with her siblings, heartbroken. We tried to reduce the fear when we evacuated them from the place, but the amount of terror they experienced during the moments of bombing and hearing the sound of the shells was enough to erase the safety and smiles from their faces and replace fear and terror in their hearts.”

Many of the sources documented the fires that resulted from the shelling of Ariha, with at least one source describing “Houses are burning and civilians are trapped.”

Sources were conflicted as to whether the Syrian regime or Russian forces or Iranian forces were responsible, with the majority of sources blaming the Syrian regime. A post from Tariq Al-Dimashqi accused Russian forces of using “napalm and phosphorus bombs” against Ariha while other sources mentioned rocket launchers and missiles.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Mustafa Wadah Ghandoura مصطفى وضاح غندورة
Adult male killed
Anwar Eido Al Deek أنور عيدو الديك
Age unknown injured
Abdulqader عبدالقادر
Age unknown injured
Samer Ahmed سامر أحمد
Age unknown injured
Mohammed Imad Qar’iya محمد عماد قرأئية
Age unknown injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    10
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Syrian Regime, Russian Military

Sources (30) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (26) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
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    Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
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    Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @idleb_online
  • Source: @Ivarmm tweeet
  • Source: @Ivarmm tweeet
  • Source: @mzmgr941
  • Source: Editor moment by moment
  • Source: News of the village of Nahlia and its environs
  • Source: Idlib News Network/Idlib
  • Source: Ariha, the bride of the north
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Syrian Regime Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime
  • Syrian Regime position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    10
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Syrian Regime, Russian Military

Sources (30) [ collapse]

Incident Code

R4582

Incident date

October 6, 2023

Location

وسط مدينة ادلب, city center of Idlib, Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

During the evening of Friday, October 6, 2023, four civilians (including a boy and a woman) were killed, and 12 were injured (including six children and a woman) by an artillery bombardments allegedly perpetrated either by Syrian regime forces and/or Russian and/or Iranian military on a residential area of the city center of Idlib. According to TV Idlib, two among the four civilians killed were newlyweds who had been married just 20 days before the incident. TV Idlib shared the pictures of their two bodies wrapped in white cloth in its Twitter/X account. The victims have not been named at the time of writing.

Facebook users Khabar and Konya posted images showing the bombardment of Idlib with clouds arising over the buildings. A Facebook user Makhmud Abu Yazan shared a graphic video showing dead bodies of the civilians lying on the ground in pools of blood. A Twitter/X user Alaa Al Dia (@Alaaeddindiab) shared the videos of the men carrying injured people from the place of the attack. In a video shared by the Twitter/X user @Jamil_Alhasaan a journalist said that eight missiles hit the Al Zira area in Idlib and there were civilian casualties.

The Syrian Civil Defence reportedly attended to the area of the incident shortly after it was bombed in order to evacuate and rescue civilians where necessary. They also said in a tweet that they treated some of the injured and recovered the bodies of “some” of the victims. The post shows images of two injured men being treated after the incident, with their legs bandaged.

A Twitter/X user Mohab Nasser (@Mohab_Nasser2) shared pictures of a small wounded boy with his head and arm bandaged in the arms of a man.

Posts on X/Twitter by Omar Madaniah and Rian Almasri featured a heart wrenching photo of the crying parents of one of the victims, a boy whose age has not been reported, who was their only son. The posts contained a quote in Arabic saying “My heart was gone alone, and by God, he took a shower and put on his clean clothes.” Rian Almasri’s post also included a video of the boy’s father crying and saying “I don’t have anyone else but him.”

It is not clear who the attackers were; however, the Syrian Civil Defence said in a tweet that the bombing came from Syrian regime forces. Other sources on Twitter/X named Iran military and Russian military as the perpetrators. Therefore, the Airwars graded the Strike Status and Civilian Harm Status as Contested.

The incident occured in the evening.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • (1 child1 woman1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Syrian Regime, Russian Military, Iranian Military

Sources (18) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (21) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
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    Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @Omar_Madaniah
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    Source: @Mohab_Nasser2
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    Source: @Mohab_Nasser2
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    Source: @TvIdlib
  • Source: Khabar
  • Source: Khabar
  • Source: Konya
  • Source: Konya
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Syrian Regime Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime
  • Syrian Regime position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Iranian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Iranian Military
  • Iranian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • (1 child1 woman1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Syrian Regime, Russian Military, Iranian Military

Sources (18) [ collapse]

Incident Code

R4583

Incident date

October 6, 2023

Location

مجدليا, village of Majdalya,  southern countryside of Idlib, Idlib governorate, Syria

Airwars assessment

On Friday, October 6, 2023, the Syrian Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, reported that a missile strike allegedly perpetrated by the Syrian regime forces and/or Russian military hit residential neighbourhoods in the village of Majdalya, southern countryside of Idlib, Syria. It resulted in the injury of three civilians, who were hospitalised, and two of whom later died of their injuries.

The post included a picture of two men, likely paramedics, wearing White Helmets uniforms and transferring an injured male civilian on the emergency stretchers into an ambulance.

Later on the same day, October 6, 2023, the Syrian Civil Defense, as well as other local sources, provided an update conveying that one of the victims, identified as a man named Omar (Amer) Bin Abdullah Al Hussein, passed away at the hospital due to injuries sustained in the shelling. A Facebook user Majdalea wrote a tribute to the late Omar, sharing his image where he can be seen as a middle-aged bearded man in a blue shirt. Following this, on October 8, 2023, the organisation confirmed the death of another victim, a 40-year old man named Samer Al Qasem.

The attack was also reported by numerous sources, including the Syrian Network for Human Rights, the Crime Documentation Office in Idlib, an Al Jazeera correspondent and local media and blogs, as well as the local people, corroborating the location and date of the attack, number of the victims on the day of the incident, and information regarding the suspected belligerent.

On the day of the incident, the White Helmets also shared a graphic video in which three civilians, including two severely injured, can be seen being transferred to the ambulance and being taken care of at the hospital.

While the Syrian Civil Defense, the Syrian Network for Human Rights and the local Crime Documentation Office in Idlib attributed the attack to the Syrian regime forces, one of the Facebook users, Shalan Al Heskawi, alleged the involvement of the Russian military. According to the most sources, the belligerent used artillery to attack the residential areas.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Omar Bin Abdullah Al Hussein عمر بن عبدالله الحسين
Adult male killed
Samer Al Qasem سامر القاسم
40 years old male killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (20) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: Majdalea
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Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Syrian Regime Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime
  • Syrian Regime position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (20) [ collapse]

Incident Code

R4584

Incident date

October 6, 2023

Location

بداما, Badama, Idlib, Idlib Governorate, Syria

Airwars assessment

On October 6th, 2023 a missile strike, allegedly launched by Russian warplanes and/or Syrian regime artillery shelling, hit the rural town of Badama near the city Jisr al-Shughur, west of Idlib (during the day, according to photographic evidence shared on social media), resulting in the injury of 14 civilians, including four children and four women.

The strike affected especially the Al-Shakhaib farm, as reported by Syria TV. The Syrian Civil Defence (aka White Helmets), who provided assistance and rescue after the attack, reported on their Twitter account that 14 civilians had been injured, including 4 women and 4 children. One of these children is named “Muhammad”, and he was wounded in the head and left unconscious by the impact – described as “Muhammad does not know why they put gauze on his head and how he was injured. He sleeps from his fatigue and pain with his innocent face scratched by missile fragments, and the colors of blood mixed with the fabric of his nice clothes.”

According to @dulama_1, the strike also hit the house of a quadriplegic elderly man, portrayed lying on his bed with debris surrounding his room, in a photo circulating online.

While the majority of sources attributed the civilian casualties to Russian airstrikes, Ariha TV blamed artillery shelling from the Syrian regime checkpoints. Multiple sources, including @Ahmad_1alshble, mentioned that vacuum missiles were used in the attack.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian infrastructure
    Agriculture
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    14
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Impact
    Food
    Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (24) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (20) [ collapse]

  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
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    Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
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    Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
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    Source: @dulama_1
  • Source: @Ahmad_1alshble
  • Source: @Ahmad_1alshble
  • Source: @zainaldinmaham1
  • Source: @altwylll
  • Source: @altwylll
  • Source: Idlib
  • Source: Idlib
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    Source: Al Jazeera - Syria
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Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Syrian Regime Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime
  • Syrian Regime position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian infrastructure
    Agriculture
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    14
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Impact
    Food
    Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (24) [ collapse]

Incident Code

R4586

Incident date

October 6, 2023

Location

أريحا, city of Ariha, south of Idlib, Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

On the evening of Friday, October 6th, 2023, residential neighborhoods of the city of Ariha located south of Idlib, Syria, were subject to an artillery bombardment with contested responsibility— reportedly perpetrated by the Syrian regime forces and/or the Russian military— that injured two civilian men, one of whom later died of his wounds.

One of civilians, Ismail Saleh Qaddad, reportedly suffered a fatal serious head injury. The other individual, Ahmed Mustafa Baroudi, sustained a foot injury. The Syrian Civil Defense reported the casualties both as civilians. Journalist Ahmed Bakour shared images of the severely injured Ismail with blood covering his eyes being treated by doctors and of Ahmed where his leg injury can be seen.

Tariq Jama wrote a Facebook tribute to Ismail Qaddad who died of his injuries on October 7th, 2023, mentioning that “He moved to the mercy of God Almighty” and sharing an image of the middle-aged bearded man in a kufiya.

The Syrian Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, was involved in rescue operations, including the evacuation of a civilian who was injured and stranded on the roof of a residential building. According to the SCD, the intense and continuous bombing in the Idlib countryside has significantly heightened fear among residents, leading to such dangerous situations.

While the strike was attributed to the Syrian regime forces by most sources, some tweets attributed it to Russian military.

The incident occured in the evening.

The victims were named as:

Ismail Qaddad اسماعيل قداد
Adult male killed
Ahmed Mustafa Baroudi أحمد مصطفى بارودي
Adult male injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (19) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

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    Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
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    Source: Journalist Ahmed Bakour Home
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Journalist Ahmed Bakour Home
  • Source: Tariq Jama
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Syrian Regime Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime
  • Syrian Regime position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (19) [ collapse]

Incident Code

R4587

Incident date

October 6–7, 2023

Location

ترمانين, town of Termanin, north of Idlib, Idlib governorate, Syria

Airwars assessment

From the evening of Friday, 6th October 2023, and into the morning of Saturday, October 7th, 2023, artillery strikes, with the use of “Smerch” missiles and cluster ammunition, allegedly perpetrated by Syrian regime forces and/or the Russian and/or Iranian military, hit residential neighborhoods and a medical facility in the town of Termanin, north of Idlib, Syria. At least seven civilians were killed, including including at least one child, and up to 30 civilians, including at least two women and five children, were injured as a result of this attack.

The Syrian Civil Defense Twitter/X account @SyriaCivilDefe later, on Ocober 7, 2023, reported that the death toll has risen – five civilians, including a child, were killed after a man died from the wounds he sustained, and 30 civilians were injured, including five children and two women.

A Facebook user Mohammed Sh wrote that the attack “killed 6 martyrs, including four children. Because of the bombing that hit the city a short while ago”, attaching a graphic image of the bodies of four small children wrapped in white cloth. A Facebook user Farid Al Mohammed wrote that they were brothers. Muhannad Al-Khaled also shared the same image and blamed Syrian regime forces, Russian and Iranian military for the killings. A Twitter/X user @inpic0 alleged that those children were killed by the Syrian regime forces as retaliation for the killing of his officers on October 5, 2023, at the Military College in Homs. Media-set’ Shafak and Idlib Facebook account also shared that image which apparently became viral on social media.

Social media tributes helped to identify some of the victims fof the bombardement. Abdul Qader Muslehlou (16 y.o.), Ayham Bastin (23 y.o.) and Mahmoud Arour (23 y.o.) were reportedly killed, according to the Twitter/X user @Gurbtwatan. The identities of the four small children who were also killed have not been found by Airwars, but it was reported they were brothers.

It was reported that Ahmed Arour (17 y.o.), Dergham Muslehlo (14 y.o.) and Ahmed Amouri (age unknown) were injured. Ahmed Amouri’s cousin wrote that Ahmed received a head injury and posted a graphic image of him with the bandaged head.

A Facebook user Abo Tarq shared pictures of injured children being treated in a hospital, but there is no additional information about them. A Twitter/X user @Omar_Madaniah shared an image of three injured children – a  small boy and a girl along with an infant, –  with a capture “Tired after a bloody night. Children were injured by shrapnel from the missiles of the criminal Bashar al-Assad a short while ago.”

Syrian News Agency (SANA) documented the effects of destruction on the town of Termanin after being the subject of the missile strikes through its monitoring lens, sharing the images where burnt cars and other destroyed vehicles could be seen. A Twitter/X user @mzmgr941 reported about the “intense bombardment by the external #Russian occupation and the regime, with a large number of reconnaissance aircrafts”, sharing a video where sounds of expolosions can be heard.

Syrian Civil Defense (SCD), also known as White Helmets, alleged that cluster munition was used during the bombardment. A video shared by the organization on Twitter/X captured the first moments of SCD teams’ response to the bombardment of missiles “loaded with internationally banned cluster munitions on residential neighborhoods and a medical facility” in the town of Termanin, which led to the wounding of 9 civilians, including a boy and a woman. The video shows how White Helmets carried a body on an injured person to an ambluance.

According to SCD, cluster munitions were used after midnight on Saturday, October 7, 2024. SCD shared an image of the remains of the 9M55K cluster bomb incubator, which carries high-explosive anti-personnel cluster bombs of the 9N210 and 9N235 types, alleging that two missiles of this type were used. The organization shared the images documenting the effects of destruction resulting from the bombardment with missiles carrying internationally banned cluster bombs. Also Al-Zeer Company on Facebook shared an image of the” remnants of the incubator of a Smerch cluster missile” when the attack struck the town of Termanin the evening. A part of the missile stuck in the pavement near parked cars can be seen.

Human Rights Watch also spoke on November 5th, about the use of cluster ammunitions in Termanin on October 6th, 2023. According to HRW, the attack killed two civilians and wounded nine others.

“Syrian government forces’ use of cluster munitions while bombing opposition-controlled areas demonstrates the tragic indiscrimination of these weapons and their devastating and chronic effects,” said Adam Coogle, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “In the midst of this ongoing bombardment by Syrian and Russian forces, the children of Idlib are falling victim once again. A victim of cruel and illegal military actions.”

A post by Khalid Mahmoud on Facebook stated that the Russian regime and foreign occupation allegedly had claimed that they were targeting the Al-Julani Committee, which is classified as an international terrorist group, but instead they were bombing civilians, women and children. Khalid shared a graphic image of the dead person lying on the pavement with traces of blood around. Orient News communicated that hundreds of civilians were displaced from the town of Termanin as a result of the escalation of the attacks by Syrian regime forces and/or the Russian military.

The suspected attacker is alleged to be the Syrian regime forces and/or the Russian military and Iranian military, as reported by most of the sources, including @SyriaCivilDefe Twitter/X account, Orient News, and Syrian News Agency, although responsibility has not been accepted explicitly. Therefore, the Airwars graded both Strike Status and Civilian Harm Status as Contested.

The incident occured during the night.

The victims were named as:

Abdul Qader Muslehlou عبد القادر مصلحلو
16 years old killed
Ayham Bastin أيهم بصطين
22 years old killed
Mahmoud Arour محمد عرعور
23 years old killed
Ahmed Arour أحمد عرعور
17 years old injured
Dergham Muslehlo درغام مصلحلو
14 years old injured
Ahmad Amouri أحمد عموري
Age unknown injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian infrastructure
    Healthcare facility
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 7
  • (1–5 children2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    9–30
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Impact
    Healthcare
    Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime, Iranian Military

Sources (41) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (47) [ collapse]

  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Mohammed Sh
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Mohammed Sh
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Ahmed Al-Ahmad
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Abo tarq
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Abo tarq
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Abo tarq
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Abo tarq
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Mahmoud Amory
  • Source: Akbaar madeent idlib
  • Source: Syrian News Agency
  • Source: Syrian News Agency
  • Source: Syrian News Agency
  • Source: Syrian News Agency
  • Source: Syrian News Agency
  • Source: Syrian News Agency
  • Source: Syrian News Agency
  • Source: Al-Zeer Company - Abu Aws
  • Source: @Ahmad_1alshble
  • Source: @Ahmad_1alshble
  • Source: @Ahmad_1alshble
  • Source: @Ahmad_1alshble
  • Source: @KalhaaS44326
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: HRW news
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Syrian Regime Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime
  • Syrian Regime position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Iranian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Iranian Military
  • Iranian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian infrastructure
    Healthcare facility
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 7
  • (1–5 children2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    9–30
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Impact
    Healthcare
    Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime, Iranian Military

Sources (41) [ collapse]

Incident Code

R4579

Incident date

October 6, 2023

Location

جفتلك حج حمود, village Jaftlik Haj Hammoud in the Jisr al-Shughur countryside, west of Idlib, Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

On the morning of Friday, 6th October 2023, three children belonging to one family  were injured by the bombardement allegedly carried out by the Russian military and/or Syrian regime forces in the village Jaftlik Haj Hammoud in the Jisr al-Shughur countryside, west of Idlib. A two-year old child named Amer Mustafa al-Abdo later died from the serious injuries. The two surviving children were reportedly brothers.

Jist media center posted a Facebook video showing the strike and clouds of smoke arising from it. The Syrian Civil Defense (SCD) attributed the responsibiliy for the incident to the Russian military and reported that their team took the injured children to the hospital for treatment. Two of then who did survive were still receiving treatment. SCD also reported that there were no other injured people.

The @SyrianCivilDefe on Twitter/X social media platform added the images of the destroyed building and a striking image of an elderly man, a grandfather of the children, astonished and sitting on the ruins of his house, picking up among the rubble with deep pain and sadness from the death and injury of his grandchildren. Al Jazeera correspondent Hadi Kharrat also shared a touching image of a tiny ginger kitten who survived the bombardment. But, as Hadi wrote, both the kitten’s mother and his friend Amer were killed.

While most of the sources attributed the strike to Russian military, a correspondent from the Al-Arabiya Syria said on Facebook that both the Russian forces and the Syrian army renewed their bombing in the city of Idlib, adding that the casualties from the attack in the village of Jaftlik were a result of the Syrian army artillery shelling. Therefore, the Airwars graded both Strike Status and Civilian Harm Status as Contested.

The incident occured in the morning.

The victims were named as:

Amer Mustafa Al Abdo عامر مصطفى العبدو
2 years old male killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (29) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (27) [ collapse]

  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: @SyriaCivilDefe
  • Source: Hadi Kharrat
  • Source: Sarmeen
  • Source: Sarmeen
  • Source: Sarmeen
  • Source: Sarmeen
  • Source: Syrian Civil Defense
  • Source: Syrian Civil Defense
  • Source: Syrian Civil Defense
  • Source: SANA_Agency
  • Source: Syrian Civil Defense
  • Source: Anas Al-Abd
  • Source: Arabic Syria
  • Source: Baraa Darwish
  • Source: Baraa Darwish
  • Source: Baraa Darwish
  • Source: Al Hadath Syria
  • Source: Arabic Syria
  • Source: @HalabTodayTV
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Syrian Regime Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime
  • Syrian Regime position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (29) [ collapse]