Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

ISSY003

Incident date

July 1, 2019

Location

أشرفية صحنايا, Ashrafiyat Sahnaya, Damascus, Syria

Geolocation

33.433659, 36.245227 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

Between five and 12 civilians were reportedly killed as a result of Israeli airstrikes that targeted several military sites in the Damascus countryside after midnight on July 1st, 2019, according to local sources.

The strike resulted in the first significant reported civilian harm from recent Israeli actions, with five named civilians locally reported killed – despite several hundred declared airstrikes against Iranian and Hezbollah forces and the Assad regime in recent years. However, it remained unclear whether some or all of the harm had occurred directly as a result of the strikes, or from Syrian counter-fire.

According to Free Deir Ezzor Radio, an Israeli missile (possibly launched by a naval vessel) killed a number of civilians when its impact shattered the glass windows of a house in Sahnaya. The Syrian-regime affiliated SANA News claimed that four civilians were killed, including a baby, in addition to 21 others injured, also including children. Numerous other sources also cited 21 as the number wounded in the attack.

News agency AFP said that six civilians including three children died, along with nine “mostly foreign pro-regime fighters.”

The New York Times, citing an anonymous Syrian government official, placed the civilian fatality toll as high as 10: “Another figure close to the Syrian government who was briefed on the strikes and who requested anonymity to discuss secret military information put the total death toll from the attacks higher, saying that at least 16 had been killed, including five Syrian Army personnel, one Iranian and 10 civilians and that 49 others had been wounded.”

Meanwhile, Step News alleged that “twelve civilians were killed, including four people from one family,” and that about “50 people, including children and infants, were injured by Israeli airstrikes targeting several positions of the Syrian regime and its pro-Iranian militias.” The same source named two locations in discussion of the incident, referring to casualties in Sahnaya and Jdaidt Artouz. However other sources did not cite civilian harm in Jdaidt Artouz.

NFAC, and other sources named two of those killed as “Rateb Mustafa Bakri Pasha and daughter Elaf Rateb Bakri Pasha”, referring to Mr Bakri Pasha as a doctor. Enab Baladi News stated that among those killed were “displaced citizens from the neighbouring city of Darya.”

@zamanalwsl, and other sources, also reported that “a whole family (father, mother and baby) were killed” in the attack, while another source named “Anas  Al Bayat, his baby son Abdul Rahman, and his wife, Rama Arna’out” as among the fatalities.

SANA quoted a military source who reported that their “air defenses intercepted hostile missiles fired by Israeli warplanes from the Lebanese airspace towards some of our military positions in Homs and the surroundings of Damascus.” The news agency added that “due to the pressure which resulted from the explosions which occurred in the sky over Damascus, material damage was inflicted on a number of civilians’ houses in Sahnaya town as the glass of the houses was shattered causing injury to a number of people.”

The Syrian Observatory instead said that casualties occurred at Sahnaya “due to the fall of missile remnants on the area.”

The Syrian Foreign Ministry later accused Israel of “heinous aggression” according to the Guardian: “Israeli authorities are increasingly practising state terrorism,” the foreign ministry said in a statement carried by the official Sana news agency on July 2nd. “The latest heinous Israeli aggression falls within the framework of ongoing Israeli attempts to prolong the crisis in Syria,” it added.

The Daily Telegraph reported that the Israeli military had declined to comment on the Syrian claims of civilian deaths, telling its reporter. “We are not commenting on foreign reports.”

According to Masra Al Arabia, the Syrian official media reported that “the Syrian air defenses responded, after midnight, to enemy missiles launched by the Israeli occupation forces at some military sites in Homs and the vicinity of Damascus, killing a number of civilians, including a child, and wounding others in the town of Sahnaya in the southern countryside of Damascus.” A military source told the Syrian News Agency (SANA) that the Israeli warplanes launched their missiles from Lebanese airspace.

SANA’s correspondent pointed out that 4 civilians were killed, including a one-month-old child, and 21 were wounded, including children, in Sahnaya town in Damascus countryside, as a result of the aggression, noting that the wounded were transferred to hospitals where they received the necessary treatment.

Other sites reportedly struck by Israel that night – though with no known associated reports of civilian harm – included Mezzeh military airport, Dimas, Ksoua, Qatana and Khan Al Sheikh.

The incident occured after midnight.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

Family members (3)

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Naval bombardment
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 12
  • (2–3 children1 woman2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    21–50
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Israeli Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Suspected targets
    Assad regime, Hezbollah
  • Belligerents reported killed
    6–9

Sources (48) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (21) [ collapse]

  • Alleged Israeli airstrikes struck the Syrian regime forces in Damascus countryside on July 1st (via Euphrates Post).
  • Alleged Israeli airstrikes struck the Syrian regime forces in Damascus countryside on July 1st (via Euphrates Post).
  • Alleged Israeli airstrikes struck the Syrian regime forces in Damascus countryside on July 1st (via Euphrates Post).
  • Alleged Israeli airstrikes struck the Syrian regime forces in Damascus countryside on July 1st (via Euphrates Post).
  • Alleged Israeli airstrikes struck the Syrian regime forces in Damascus countryside on July 1st (via Euphrates Post).
  • Video showing the moment of impact when a missile struck the Syrian regime forces in the countryside of Damascus on July 1st (via Euphrates Post).
  • Medics tending to the civilians who were wounded by alleged Israeli airstrikes in Sahnaya town in the countryside of Damascus on July 1st (via SANA).
  • Medics tending to the civilians who were wounded by alleged Israeli airstrikes in Sahnaya town in the countryside of Damascus on July 1st (via SANA).
  • Video of alleged Israeli missiles on July 1st (via SANA).
  • Video Caption Translation: "Four civilians, including an infant, were killed by Israeli shelling of the Damascus and Homs governorates" (via RT Arabic)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    An infant casualty following the airstrike (via @HoseinMortada)
  • Image translation The names of wounded people from Hisham medical clinic Aya Al Shouli 15 years old Bassam Fares Al Eid Al Omar 60 years old Mohammad Shaheen Omar 24 years old (seriously injured) Rami Shaheen Omar 48 years old (seriously injured) Hamad Hatoush 23 years old Hiba Hartoush Al Omar 1 month old Nour Khaled Omar 24 years old Ahlam Al Ali 19 years old Abd Al Rahhman Al Khaled Houssin Al Sheikh Ghayth Kalhous 16 years old Nofal Ali Imad Khaled 24 years old Mohammad Abd Al Kareem 15 years old Ziyna Ma’rouf Abd Al Majeed Ghofran Dakak 13 years old (via @dania_saaty)
  • Translation: “Treating the wounded as a result of the Israeli aggression in the city of #Sahnaya #Damascus” (via @jamlyyyyy).
  • Rateb Mustafa Bakri Pasha (left) was killed alongside his daughter Elaf Rateb Bakri Pasha were killed in alleged Israeli strikes on Ashrafiyat Sahnaya on July 1st, 2019 (via Baladi News).
  • Image Caption Translation: "The martyrdom of a family as a result of the aggression last night on the town of Sahnaya and the martyrs are Anas al-Bayat and his son the baby Abdul Rahman and his wife Rama Arna’out" (via @0pL7NYrCA4SYZ3U)
  • Caption Translation: "Martyr Abdul Rahman, seven months who was martyred in # Sahnaya yesterday by the Zionist raids on the countryside of Damascus" (via @wasem258).
  • Rateb Mustafa Bakri Pasha was killed alongside his daughter in alleged Israeli strikes on Ashrafiyat Sahnaya on July 1st, 2019 (via NFAC).
  • Elaf Rateb Bakri Pasha was killed alongside her father in alleged Israeli strikes on Ashrafiyat Sahnaya on July 1st, 2019 (via NFAC).
  • Image of alleged Syrian regime air defence responding to alleged Israeli airstrikes on Ashrafiyat Sahnaya on July 1st, 2019 (via Masra Al Arabia).
  • Syrian regime air defence reportedly responded to alleged Israeli airstrikes on Ashrafiyat Sahnaya on July 1st, 2019 (via Masra Al Arabia).
  • Image of alleged Syrian regime air defence responding to alleged Israeli airstrikes on Ashrafiyat Sahnaya on July 1st, 2019 (via Masra Al Arabia).

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Ashrafiyat Sahnaya (أشرفية صحنايا) for which the generic coordinates are: 33.433659, 36.245227. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Israeli Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Israeli Armed Forces
  • Israeli 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, Naval bombardment
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 12
  • (2–3 children1 woman2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    21–50
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Israeli Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Suspected targets
    Assad regime, Hezbollah
  • Belligerents reported killed
    6–9

Sources (48) [ collapse]