Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

IRS003 RS4187

Incident date

November 20, 2019

Location

مخيم قاح, Qah refugee camp, near Syrian-Turkish border, Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

Between 16-30 civilians, including seven children and seven women, died and up to 54 others wounded in a first of its kind regarding severity attack on the Qah refugee camp carried out by Russian, regime or Iranian forces on November 20, 2019.

In a first of its kind attack between 16-30 civilians were killed and 12-46 civilians injured, including 11 children and 6 women. Allegedly unprecedented civilian harm occurred due to an alleged Russian cluster bomb strike conducted by Iranian armed forces or Syrian armed strike, targeting the Qah refugee camp in the de-escalation zone in Idlib, at 7:30 pm on November 20, 2019.

Ar Wikipedia reported on the attack, referring to it as the Qah massacre, stating that a targeted attack with a surface-to-surface missile carrying cluster bombs, targeted the IDP camp, which is north of Idlib, from a defence laboratory south of Aleppo.

Reports on civilian harm vary between 16-30 civilians killed and 12-46 injured, as 218 news states that around 15 civilians were killed and dozens were injured, but Xber news reported on 20 killed civilians and 15 wounded civilians.

Local sources posted pictures of major civilian harm, such as burn injuries of victims of the attack. Additionally, the attack destroyed dozens of tents and caused a fire increasing the material damage. Material damage was reported by Aljarezza reporting that: “ A tent with walls built of pumice stones, consisting of several rooms, flattened to the ground, scattering the rest of its contents, while its iron frame is still fixed. Only a green carpet and a red gas cylinder remained in place while everything around them burned. In another room, colourful clothes, scattered plastic bottles and a white wooden door.”

Step news informed that the civil defence team transported the injured civilians to the Latamna, Aqirbat and Bab al-Hawa hospitals.

It was reported by local sources that search and rescue teams were still looking for civilians, whilst the Ambulances brought the injured IDP´s to the hospitals.

According to Ar Wekipidia some injuries: ”cases were sent to Turkish hospitals while dealing with these simple cases on the ground”.

Idlib plus news published a statement stating:” Two massacres of civilians in Idlib leave 20 dead. Russian warplanes and Assad forces committed two massacres of civilians on Wednesday in the city of Ma’aret al-Nu’man and the camps of Qah, killing 20 people and injuring 46, most of them children.”

20 killed civilians have been identified through a variety of sources:

MMC identified twelve civilians as Nawara Mamoun Qaytum(Child, from Has), Hor Mamoun Qaytum (Child, from Hass), Maysa Nazir al-Yahya (Woman, from Has), Lamia Abboud (woman, from Kafr Zita), Rima Hassan Al-Diab (Child, from Kafr Zita), Yousef Jamal Asali (Child, from Al Rami), Jamal Mustafa Asali (Child, from Al Rami), Maha Hamza Asali (Child, from Al Rami), Jamal Ismail Asali (Child, from Al Rami), Ismail Jamal Asali (a man, from Al Rami), Sana Ahmed Moussa (woman, from Shanan), Diab Mounir (man, Qah).

Bawaba Hama managed to identify five more civilians killed in the attack through an activist. He named: Lamia Hassan Al-Diab and her daughter (from Kafr Zita), Abdo Abdel-Fattah (12), Zahra Abdel Sattar Qantar (40), Massa Hamida Al-Khaled (43) and Nouria Kadour (50), as civilians killed by the attack.

The collection of data through the sources mentioned above, 19 killed civilians have been identified. One can allege that all killed have thus been identified as SOHR news reported that: “number of casualties to 19, they are: 11 children, 6 citizen women and 2 men, all of whom were killed in Qah massacre at the border with Iskenderun”.

Furthermore, did local sources identify two further civilians: Hor Al-Ain (young girl) and her mother.

Lastly did the Justice organisation report on the death of two civilians in hospital, due to severe wounds. The baby Hamzra Musab al-Ibrahim died due to the wound on November 22, 2019. Abdul Karim al-Da´ef died in hospital on November 24, 2019.

Statements from residents of the IDP camp regarding the incident have been recorded and published by various sources.

Aljereeza published an interview with Abu Mahmoud, who was displaced seven years ago: After the evening prayer, we heard a loud explosion (…) I came to inspect my brother’s house to find the tent on fire.”

“My brother’s wife and daughter were martyred, while he sustained two shrapnel and burns all over his body,” His elderly mother is carrying his niece, Aisha, who survived the bombing, but the effects were on her face: a wound under her right eye that froze, while drops of blood dried on her soft hair.

A different civilian statement was published by France 24. He recounted that “we were staying up late at home and suddenly felt an explosion and shrapnel flew. There were wounded and dead.”

“When I got out of my house, I only saw this missile near the wall, and it damaged my agricultural tractor,” he says, while pointing to a missile hull behind him.” This is not a missile, it is a great misfortune,” he adds with emotion.

Several sources such as Enabbaladi and Syria TV highlight that a Russian cluster bomb called: Tochka 9M79” was used in the alleged attack. A weapon that was banned by the “Convention on Cluster Munitions”, which was signed by Russia but not by Syria. Enabbaladi news interviewed Enab Baladi who says that Russia manufactured the bombs and that the Assad regime owns the Russian built missiles and use them frequently.

The origin of the strike has been identified as a defence laboratory, with launch pads for the type of missile used, south of Aleppo near Azzan, around 70km away from the camp.

Sources on suspected attackers are in disagreement with each other. Step news and further local sources alleged that the Iranian military carried out the incident on the Iranian base. The Syrian Observation for Human Rights reported that regime forces carried out the attack, similarly to Xber News who alleged that Syrian regime forces conducted the attack on the camp.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (3)

  • Nawara Mamoun Qaytum Child from Hass killed
  • Hor Mamoun Qaytum Child female from Hass killed
  • Mother of Nawara Mamoun Qaytum and Hor Mamoun Qaytum killed

Family members (6)

  • Yousef Jamal Asali Child from Al Rami killed
  • Amal Mustafa Asali Child from Al Rami killed
  • Maha Hamza Asali Child from Al Rami killed
  • Jamal Ismail Asali Child from Al Rami killed
  • Ismail Jamal Asali Adult male from Al Rami killed
  • Hamza Musab al-Ibrahim Child killed

Family members (2)

  • The wife of Hassan Al Diab Adult female killed
  • Rima Hassan Al-Diab Child female from Kafr Zita killed
  • Maysa Nazir al-Yahya Adult female from Hass killed
  • Lamia Abboud Adult female from Hass. May the wife of Hassan Al Diab killed
  • Sana Ahmed Moussa Adult female killed
  • Diab Mounir Adult male from Qah killed
  • Nouria Kaddour 50 years old female killed
  • Massa Hamida Al Khaled 43 years old female killed
  • Zahra Abdel Sattar Qentar 40 years old female killed
  • Abdo Abdel Fattah 12 years old male killed
  • Abdul Karim al-Da’ef Child male Later died from his wounds. killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    16 – 30
  • (7 children7 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12–54
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Iranian Armed Forces, Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (67) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (24) [ collapse]

  • The aftermath of the alleged Iranian strike on Qah refugee camp, Nov 20th.
  • "Images of remnants of the rocket fired on a camp for displaced people in Qah, north of Idlib, near the Syrian-Turkish border"
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Translation: "The number of martyrs in the massacre of Qah refugee camp increased to 12, including 7 children, 3 women and 30 injured in an untold toll, bringing the number of martyrs throughout Idlib on Wednesday to 20 civilians and 46 injured"
  • Footage from the aftermath of the strike.
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Translation: "Some of the pictures of children who were killed by the bombing of Iranian militias on the camp".
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Further footage of the aftermath of the strike.
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Further footage of the aftermath of the strike.
  • "According to sources: Rockets originating from defense factories east of Aleppo hit Qah camp north of Idlib" (via SO4HR)
  • The White Helmets said "large fires" broke out in tents following the strike on Qah camp (via White Helmets)
  • Fires at Qah refugee camp following the Nov 20th strike (via EMC)
  • Fires at Qah refugee camp following the Nov 20th strike (via EMC)
  • Fires at Qah refugee camp following the Nov 20th strike (via EMC)
  • Fires at Qah refugee camp following the Nov 20th strike (via EMC)
  • The aftermath of an alleged regime strike on Qah camp, Nov 20th (via EMC)
  • The aftermath of an alleged regime strike on Qah camp, Nov 20th (via EMC)
  • The aftermath of an alleged regime strike on Qah camp, Nov 20th (via EMC)
  • Abdul Karim al-Da’ef (via White Helmets)
  • "Pictures of the remnants of the cluster missile launched by Iranian militias from Jabal Azzan in the southern countryside of Aleppo on a camp for the displaced in Qah" (Image posted by @mohmad_rasheed)
  • "Pictures of the remnants of the cluster missile launched by Iranian militias from Jabal Azzan in the southern countryside of Aleppo on a camp for the displaced in Qah" (Image posted by @mohmad_rasheed)
  • "Pictures of the remnants of the cluster missile launched by Iranian militias from Jabal Azzan in the southern countryside of Aleppo on a camp for the displaced in Qah" (Image posted by @mohmad_rasheed)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Child killed by strikes on Qah camp on November 20, 2019. (Image posted by @zakaria19972)
  • +18| Dead and wounded as a result of targeting Qah camp, north of Idlib, with a missile loaded with cluster missiles

Iranian Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Iranian Armed Forces
  • Iranian Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Armed Forces
  • Russian Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    16 – 30
  • (7 children7 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12–54
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Iranian Armed Forces, Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (67) [ collapse]