Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

R4032

Incident date

December 22, 2019

Location

معرة النعمان , International road to Ma'arat Al Numan, Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

Between four and seven civilians were killed as the result of an alleged Russian or Syrian regime airstrike on a convoy with displaced people on the international road to Ma’arat Al Numan on December 22nd, 2019, according to local sources. On December 28th, a local source reported that one of the victims died of his injuries sustained in the attack.

Step News Agency put the preliminary death toll at three killed civilians and an unknown number of wounded. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that seven civilians were killed.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights reported the death of the brothers Muhammad and Ahmad Subhi Sharaf al Din, displaced from Taqana village, and their father.

Eyewitnesses told Smart News Agency that “Russian warplanes targeted the cars of the displaced and an agricultural tractor carrying a displaced family and the furniture of its house in the city of Ma’arat Al Numan (32 km south of Idlib), killing two civilians and wounding another, as a result of which he was transferred to a nearby hospital.”

@abuhuzaifa_ posted a video on Twitter of reportedly the remains of children burned in the incident.

Whereas most sources blamed Russian forces for the incident, Step News Agency wrote that Syrian regime aircraft was responsible.

The Step News Agency correspondent stated that “the Syrian and Russian aviation are trying to cut off the road for civilians trying to get out of the city of Ma’arat Al Numan, by targeting the cars of the displaced people on the international road at the northern entrance to the city”. Shaam News Network added that the bombing happened despite activists’ “escalating calls to stop the shelling and allow civilians to leave”.

On December 28th, 2019, the Syrian Network for Human Rights reported that Mustafa Absi al Khalaf died because of wounds he sustained as a result of this incident.

While nearly all sources pointed to Russian forces, Step News Agency reported that the aircraft that carried out the strikes belonged to the Syrian regime.

The incident occured in the morning.

The victims were named as:

Family members (3)

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 8
  • (2 children4 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • Destruction after alleged Russian or Syrian regime aircraft bombed a convoy with displaced people on the International Road to Ma'arat Al Numan on December 22nd, 2019 (via Euphrates Post).
  • Displaced woman sitting on the side of the road after alleged Russian or Syrian regime aircraft bombed a convoy with displaced people on the International Road to Ma'arat Al Numan on December 22nd, 2019 (via Shaam News Network).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Video posted on Twitter of reportedly the remains of children burned in an alleged Russian airstrike on a convoy of displaced people on the International Road to Ma'arat Al Numan on December 22nd, 2019 (via @abuhuzaifa_ ).
  • The body of a victim on the side of the road after alleged Russian or Syrian regime airstrikes on the international road to Ma'arat Al Numan on December 22nd, 2019 (via Smart News Agency).

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
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 8
  • (2 children4 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (14) [ collapse]