An air raid shelter in the village of Al Ghantu was reportedly hit in a Russian airstrike, killing up to 48 people from one extended family. Among the dead were at least 23 children and nine women.
A local cameraman captured the moment the missile from an apparent Russian Air Force Su-24 hit (see below) despite the Kremlin making no reference to airstrikes in the governorate that day. The Arab East Centre noted: “According to sources in the field who saw the shelling, the first missile destroyed the two-storey building, while the second destroyed the shelter beneath the building.”
Early reports placed the number of dead at 17. However Al Jazeera later said up to 48 people had died, all from one extended family, the Al Assafs (or Al Steifs).
A reported survivor described the scene, again to Al Jazeera: “Some 45 people died. Of course they were all women, children and girls. The oldest was a 70 year old woman and the youngest was a month old. There were also pregnant women.”
An Amnesty International investigation later concluded: “There are no indications of any military presence. A weapons expert who analysed the images of the aftermath of the strike told Amnesty International that the nature of the destruction indicated possible use of fuel-air explosives or “vacuum bombs”, which leave a wide destructive “footprint” and can kill humans without causing significant visible injuries. Fuel-air explosives are particularly prone to indiscriminate effects when used in the vicinity of civilians.”
Human Rights Watch concluded that the attack “apparently violated the laws of war.“
Some 45 of the dead have been named by VDC.
The local time of the incident is unknown.