Targeted air or drone strikes – most likely unilateral US actions – reportedly killed two high ranking militants along with a number of fighters. However sources also claimed there were civilian casualties.
There were two reported evening attacks. In the first, a car was destroyed on the Sarmada-Bab al Hawa road, killing four people inside. Altihad reported that the attack also “wounded people who were present.” And Orient News referenced “the martyrdom of a number of civilians.”
In the second strike “another drone targeted another car near Sarmada roundabout and killed more of the Al Nusra Front, and people were scared and evacuated their cars immediately” according to Altihad. Three fighters reportedly died.
According to the Syrian Observatory, “At least two leaders of the Al-Nusra Front were killed and three of Fatah Al-Sham [Al-Nusra Front’s previous name] were killed on the road between Sarmada and Bab Al-Hawa. One was among the top four leaders of the Islamic Turkistani Jihadi party, and is one of the 10 most jihadists in Syria. A leader of Al-Qaeda was also in the same car between Sarmada and Bab Al-Hawa. It’s not known whether the warplanes belongs to the Coalition or Russia.”
In April 2019 the Coalition announced that it had classed this allegation of civilian harm as non-credible, noting: “After review of all available strike records it was determined that more likely than not civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition strike.”
The local time of the incident is unknown.
- Abu Omar al-Turkistani Adult male named by Ahlul Bayt killed
- Khatab al-Qahtani Adult male named by Ahlul Bayt killed
Sources (9) [ collapse]
from sources (2) [ collapse]
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US-led Coalition Assessment:
Civilian casualty statements
Apr 25, 2019
Jan. 1, 2017, near Sarmada, Syria, via Airwars report. After review of all available strike records it was determined that more likely than not civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition strike.
Original strike reports
For January 1st-2nd the Coalition publicly reported no airstrikes in Idlib governorate. However, US airstrikes against al Nusra are unilateral and are not declared by the Coalition.