In what has been described as a massacre, between five and 45 civilians were killed and 14 to 90 were injured in alleged Russian, Syrian regime or Coalition airstrikes on the city of Al-Mayadeen in Deir Ezzor, described by local sources as the “most important stronghold for Daesh in the region”.
An initial report from Sharqiya Voice said a Russian warplane attacked the city, “shelling…civilian houses on the waterfront”, and killing five people and injuring more than 14. Reportedly, the Russian warplane earlier targeted the village of Bokros Tahtani which also resulted in civilian casualties. Other reports blamed a Russian missile launch.
Al Mayadeen Gathering in Exile documented 10 killed and 90 wounded following the strikes. The Russians supposedly fired seven cruise missiles in the raid and targeted “the post office and the convalescence center, Court Street and al Balou’m roundabout” according to the source. A later report from Euphrates Post noted the “National Hospital”, and the “Internet Lounge close to Fisherman’s Wharf” were targeted. It too blamed Russia.
A brother and sister were documented as two of the victims by Euphrates Post. Abou Ali wrote on Facebook that his uncle was also killed in the attack. News of his death came after reports of “a large number of families…still under the rubble”, by @olay6663. Shbab then listed an additional four men suspected killed:
According to Smart, “The Russian Defense Ministry announced Thursday that it was targeting south-east of the eastern city of Deir al-Zour with Caliber missiles from its submarines in the Mediterranean Sea – without specifying the locations”.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights initially reported “whether they belong to Russia or the the regime in still unknown” regarding the identity of aircraft. However a subsequent report said some sources alleged Russian responsibity whilst others blamed the Coalition. A third report on the incident by the Observatory alleged Russia conducted the strikes on Mayadeen.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights blamed the regime.
Later reports by Euphrates Post documented the death of another civilian, reportedly killed after injuries sustained as a result of the airstrikes on Al Mayadeen. Khader Sa’id al-Nizhan was also documented killed in Bokros, however further correspondence with Euphrates Post confirmed the location as Al Mayadin.
Euphrates Post similarly had confusing reportage on the incident. When reporting on all the incidents in a general sense, they blamed both Russia and the Coalition, however when reporting on the incident individually they blamed Russia.
In addition to this, Almanar TV reported that, “Four people were killed and 65 others injured when the International coalition aircraft bombed the town of Al-Mayadin in the south-eastern Deir Al-Zour countryside.” However, Airwars researchers have suggested that this source is Hezbullah propaganda, therefore unreliable.
The raids struck Al Inaash Centre, a vicinity near the mosque Almshouh, the vicinity of the Noue Al Saeed hospital and the beginning of Al Jaish street, according to Marsad Al Hasaka.
Most sources agreed that “more than 10” people were killed in these strikes, but al-Jazeera put that figure at 45.
Euphrates Post reported that the airstrikes hit the ‘Convalescence Center, the National Hospital and the Internet Lounge near the Fisherman’s Wharf.’ Other sources reported that a number of civilian houses near the sea were also hit.
Alaraby reported that “On Sunday, rescue teams and civilians retrieved three bodies of a man, a child and a girl from the rubble of their house in the town of Mayadim in the eastern suburb of Deir al-Zour. The death toll was not immediately clear as a result of the destruction of the target house completely over its residents. An elderly woman was also killed by a rocket from the same plane that targeted a second house in the town of Al-Mayadeen, while an unknown child is still under the rubble.”
Women and children were among the slain. Al-Mayadeen’s Gathering In Exile reported that seven cruise missiles were fired allegedly by a Russian warship, which contributed to the civilian casualties. Smart News reported that the Russian Defense Ministry that two submarines in Mediterranean had targeted “locations” of the “Islamic State” in the south-eastern Deir Ezzor, without specifying the location.
Al-Mayadeen was the most important stronghold of the Islamic State in the region, according to Zaman al Wasl.
Al Jazeera tweeted that the aftermath saw a large displacement of people towards the surrounding areas of the Badia.
It must be noted that the body of Ismail Mahmood al-Ibrahim was reportedly trapped under he rubble for a few days before it was recovered. Some sources report he was killed on the 14th, and others on the 17th as a result.
The incident occured at 7:00 am local time.