Six months after US air raids had targeted the Khorasan Group (part of the al-Nusra Front) and the militant group Ahrar al-Sham, the Coalition conceded that two children had “likely” died in the attack – the first public concession of any civilian deaths after 4,000 airstrikes against ISIS over nine months.
The November 5th US-only raid targeted the villages of Harem, Bab Al Hawa, Sarmada, Reef Al-Muhameen and Binsh.
Reports from the night remain confused, with civilian deaths claimed at a number of locations. Reuters carried a statement from Ahrar al-Sham saying that “The air strikes came last night and hit a number of areas in the liberated Idlib countryside,” and that casualties included “women and children and civilians.”
The site of the civilian deaths was Harem, CENTCOM later confirmed. It also accepted that two civilian NGO workers were injured in the attack. According to the Syrian Revolution Forum blog: “The planes of the Arab/Western coalition launched air strikes on Syrian cities adjacent to the Turkish border. The centre of the town of Harem was targeted with more than six raids causing the death of four children and causing massive destruction to residential and commercial property on Al Sijn street.”
One of the children was identified as a five year old girl, whose father Ali Saeed Al Haj Qaddour – a fighter with the al-Nusra Front – also died in the attack (both pictured below.) Daniya’s mother and brother Saeed were reported to have been severely wounded. A second unidentified female child victim was shown alongside the body of Daniya in several graphic videos and photographs taken after the US bombing.
VDC additionally reported the deaths of three or four unidentified male children in the Coalition attack – though gave no further details.
In July 2019, the Coalition provided Airwars with the geolocation of the event, accurate to a 100m box.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest village at 36.212564, 36.519736