Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

R4303

Incident date

March 21, 2021

Location

مشفى المغارة, Al Maghara Hospital, Al Atareb, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.154972, 36.842553 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (other) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (other)

Airwars assessment

Between three and eight civilians, including two children and a woman, were killed and between 11 and 22 others were injured in alleged regime or Russian strikes at Al Maghara Hospital in Al Atareb, Aleppo in the morning on March 21, 2021.

Syrian Civil Defense and other sources, including @HalabTodayTV, identified artillery shelling as the cause of the injuries and damage and France 24 reported that six shells struck the city while Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported about six rocket-propelled grenades and Syrian Network for Human Rights reported three mortar shells striking the hospital. According to DW News, dozens of rockets and heavy artillery shells struck Al Maghara Hospital. Syrian Archive reported the time of the incident from 8:41-8:45AM.

In a preliminary outcome reported by Syrian Civil Defense, “3 civilians, including a child and a woman…and 15 other medical personnel working at Al-Atareb City Hospital and the visitors were injured this morning.” Syrian Civil Defense later posted that the death toll ” increased to 5 civilians, including a child and a woman… and wounding 9 medical personnel (5 doctors and 3 Nurses and technicians) and in a later video, increased the count to seven people killed and more than 15 others injured, including nine hospital staff. France 24 news reported that six people were killed including a child and a hospital worker and 11 others were wounded. Baladi News reported 22 people injured to varying degrees. Reuters reported that “Syrian army artillery killed seven civilians and injured 14 medics” and that the Turkish Defence Ministry had earlier said that ” five people were killed and 10 injured” in the artillery attack. Syrian Network for Human Rights published a report a week later that identified “eight civilians [were killed], including one child and one woman, and injuring about 17 others, including five of the hospital’s medical staff. Other sources also identified between three to seven civilians killed.

A tweet by @anasanas84 and Facebook post by Zakariya Mohammed Zilo named those killed as Muhammad Abdel Hamid Haji Ahmed (male from Al Atareb), Hikmat Hussein Al Khalaf (male from Al Khalaf), Mustafa Ayoub (male from Al Atareb), Mustafa Ahmad Hallaq (male), Sami Ali Kaddour (from Abyanas), and Ahmed Khattab (from Kafr Nouran) as well as an unidentified male child and an unidentified woman. Syrian Archive also named Ahmed Abdel Qadir Ayoub, a child, as being killed. The director of the Free Aleppo Health Authority, Nawar Kurdiya, was injured in the eye as a result of artillery shelling. Mahmoud Khalifa, a maintenance technician at Al Atarib Surgical Hospital, was also injured in the attack.

Syrian Archive reported that Mohammed Abdul Hamid Haji Ahmed, who was only 18 years old and recently married, was killed while taking his mother, who was injured in the bombing, to the hospital for treatment. His daughter was born five days after he was killed in the hospital attack.

The Directorate of Education in Aleppo posted on Facebook that two of its teachers and one of its students were killed in the attack on Al Atarib. The student named by the directorate is Ahmed Abdullah Ayoub (known as Ahmed Rajab Hallaq) and the teachers named are Mustafa Ahmed Ayoub and Ahmed Khattab Khattab.

Images and videos posted by @IndyArabia and other sources show severe damage to the hospital and injured patients being removed on stretchers. France 24 reported that according the the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the courtyard and the entrance to the hospital were struck by shells. DW News reported that an AFR reporter witnessed damage to the hospital entrance, shells penetrating the roof, windows of the information room shattered, and blood stains spread around. According to The New Arab, in a statement by Fadi Hakim,a spokesman for the Syrian American Medical Society, which supports the hospital, said the structural damage includes destruction of the orthopedic clinic and the emergency room and One News added that the electric generators on the roof of the hospital were knocked out. Syrian archive reported that “the first artillery shell hit near the hospital’s emergency room entrance and the other two shells followed hitting the orthopedic clinic and the waiting area in the hospital yard as well as the hospital roof near the obstetrician room and hospital staff accommodations.”

The Syrian Network for Human Rights reported that the hospital is located far from residential areas and there is no military equipment. Al Jazeera and various other sources also pointed out that this occurred in a rebel-held part of Northwest Syria.

According to Syrian Civil Defense, the attack resulted in physical damage to the hospital so severe that the hospital could no longer serve patients. An Al Jazeera correspondent Adham Abu Al-Hussam pointed out that the hospital served more than 100,000 civilians in the city of Atarib and the surrounding areas but no longer can from the damage. Syrian Archive reported that the hospital conducts general as well orthopedic, urologic, and ENT operations and the average number of hospital beneficiaries ranges from 5,000 – 6,000 patients a month.

Following the attack, civil defense teams took the injured to the nearest hospital and transported those killed to their families. Baladi News reported that six of those injured were transferred to Turkish hospitals and the rest went to hospitals across the northern countryside of Idlib. Images posted by @MMCSYR also show the victims being buried.

France 24 and most other sources identified regime forces as responsible for the artillery shelling, including a post by Al Atareb City on Facebook that specifically identified the 46th regiment of the regime and DW News identifying the regime forces stationed in the town of Urem Al-Soghra as responsible. However, a tweet from @ZaitunAgency attributed the attack to both the regime and Russia. According to Syrian Archive, the 46th regiment is about 5km away from the hospital and could be the potential launch point.

Russian media posted a video following the attack showing Russian surveillance guided the artillery strike. Analysis by @Charles_Lister also shows that Russian “Kasnopol” laser-guided artillery shells were used in the attack. The missiles require external laser markers and the target must be illuminated with a laser for an accurate strike. By analyzing the remnants from the attack, they were able to point out that they closely match the laser-guided “Krasnopol” used in Ukraine. A tweet from @rien4djri also identified the times that Russian and regime planes get over Al Atarib, showing Russian involvement.

Anadolu Agency News attributed the attack to the regime and Iranian-backed foreign terrorist militias.

Anadolu Agency News and France 24 both pointed out that the shelling occurred in a UN de-escalation zone that was agreed upon by Turkey, Russia and Iran but the regime has recaptured three of the four areas covered by the deescalation. Al Jazeera also pointed out that the hospital is located underground, which is a tactic often used by the opposition to avoid targeting. Also, as Syrian Archive pointed out, “Al Atarib Surgical Hospital is remotely located, meaning it is situated distinctly separate from main centres of population and is not near to or surrounded by many other, unrelated (non-medical) structures.”

Rehana Zawar, the IRC’s country director for northwest Syria, said in a statement “Although SAMS shared the hospital’s coordinates through the UN’s notification system, it came under attack and has now been damaged so severely that it can no longer be used. Health facilities are protected under international law and should be safe havens in times of crisis, but after 10 years of war this is not the case in Syria.”

Aljazeera reported that the White Helmets released a statement that the attack is a “continuation of the regime and Russia’s systematic policy of targeting medical facilities and hospitals.”

The Turkish Defense Ministry released a written statement that “the Assad regime once again has carried out a brutal attack on innocent civilians” according to Daily Sabah.

The US Department of State also released a statement, “Reported artillery shelling on the Al-Atareb Surgical Hospital in western Aleppo killed several patients, including a child, and injured more than a dozen medical staff.  This hospital’s coordinates had been shared with the UN-led deconfliction mechanism.”

The incident occured between 8:41 am and 8:45 am local time.

  • Muhammad Abdel Hamid. Haji Ahmed 18 years old male killed
  • Hikmat Hussein Al Khalaf Age unknown male killed
  • Mustafa Ayoub Age unknown male Teacher killed
  • Mustafa Ahmad Hallaq Child male Ahmed Abdullah Ayoub (or as he is known in his village Ahmed Rajab Hallaq) killed
  • Nawar Kurdiya Age unknown Director of the Free Aleppo Health Authority, injured in the eye injured
  • Sami Ali Kaddour Age unknown (or as he is known in his village Ibin Sami Ali Al Kheir, where he was the goal keeper for the Al Fajr Sports Club) killed
  • Ahmed Khattab Age unknown Teacher killed
  • Ahmed Abdel Qadir Ayoub Child male killed
  • Mahmoud Khalifa Age unknown male maintenance technician at Al Atarib Surgical Hospital injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 8
  • (1 child1 woman4 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    11–22
  • 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 (62) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (81) [ collapse]

  • Images posted by Syrian Civil Defense show the damage and injuries caused by alleged regime shelling on Al Maghara Hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021.
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Images posted by Syrian Civil Defense show the damage and injuries caused by alleged regime shelling on Al Maghara Hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021.
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Images posted by Syrian Civil Defense show the damage and injuries caused by alleged regime shelling on Al Maghara Hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021.
  • Images posted by Syrian Civil Defense show the damage and injuries caused by alleged regime shelling on Al Maghara Hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021.
  • Images posted by Syrian Civil Defense show the damage and injuries caused by alleged regime shelling on Al Maghara Hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021.
  • Images posted by Syrian Civil Defense show the damage and injuries caused by alleged regime shelling on Al Maghara Hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021.
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • Image posted by Anadolu Agency News shows the damagecaused by alleged regime shelling on Al Maghara Hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021.
  • Images posted by Zakariya Mohammed Zilo show the victims of the alleged regime shelling on Al Maghara Hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021.
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Images posted by Zakariya Mohammed Zilo show the victims of the alleged regime shelling on Al Maghara Hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021.
  • Images posted by Abean Saman martyrs identifies Sami Al Qaddour as a victim of the alleged regime shelling on Al Maghara Hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021.
  • Images posted by Ahmad Fou'ad on Facebook identifies Mustafa Ahmed Ayoub as a victim of the alleged regime shelling on Al Maghara Hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021.
  • Images posted by Mohammed Mahmoud Haji Ahmed on Facebook identifies Ahmed Khattab as a victim of the alleged regime shelling on Al Maghara Hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021.
  • Image posted by Mohammed About Omar on Facebook identifies Muhammad Abdul Hamid Haji Ahmed as a victim of the alleged regime shelling on Al Maghara Hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021.
  • Images posted by Syrian Network for Human Rights show the damage to the hospital caused by alleged regime shelling on Al Maghara Hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021.
  • Images posted by Syrian Network for Human Rights show the damage to the hospital caused by alleged regime shelling on Al Maghara Hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021.
  • Image posted by Al Atareb city shows Director of Health in Free Aleppo, doctor "Nawar Kurdiya" who lost an eye from the alleged regime shelling on Al Maghara Hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021.
  • A man walks past a damaged room at the entrance of a field hospital in the the village of Atareb in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo on March 21, 2021, after it was reportedly targeted by regime shelling. (Photo by AAREF WATAD / AFP)
  • A man stands amid the debris at the entrance of a field hospital in the the village of Atareb in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo on March 21, 2021, after it was reportedly targeted by regime shelling. (Photo by AAREF WATAD / AFP)
  • Syrian mourners pray during a funeral in the the village of Atareb in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo on March 21, 2021, for civilians killed in regime artillery fire on a hospital. - Regime artillery fire killed five civilians including a child when it hit a hospital entrance in Syria's last major rebel bastion of Idlib, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. (Photo by AAREF WATAD / AFP)
  • Images posted by @Charles_Lister of the artillery parts used to attack the hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021 and linking the attack to Russia as well as the regime.
  • Images posted by @Charles_Lister of the artillery parts used to attack the hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021 and linking the attack to Russia as well as the regime.
  • Images posted by @Charles_Lister of the artillery parts used to attack the hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021 and linking the attack to Russia as well as the regime.
  • Images posted by @Charles_Lister of the artillery parts used to attack the hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021 and linking the attack to Russia as well as the regime.
  • Images posted by @Charles_Lister of the artillery parts used to attack the hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021 and linking the attack to Russia as well as the regime.
  • Images posted by @Charles_Lister of the artillery parts used to attack the hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021 and linking the attack to Russia as well as the regime.
  • Images posted by @Charles_Lister of the artillery parts used to attack the hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021 and linking the attack to Russia as well as the regime.
  • Images posted by @Charles_Lister of the artillery parts used to attack the hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021 and linking the attack to Russia as well as the regime.
  • Images posted by @Charles_Lister of the artillery parts used to attack the hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021 and linking the attack to Russia as well as the regime.
  • Images posted by @Charles_Lister of the artillery parts used to attack the hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021 and linking the attack to Russia as well as the regime.
  • Images posted by @Charles_Lister of the artillery parts used to attack the hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021 and linking the attack to Russia as well as the regime.
  • Images posted by @Charles_Lister of the artillery parts used to attack the hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021 and linking the attack to Russia as well as the regime.
  • Images posted by @Charles_Lister of the artillery parts used to attack the hospital in Al Atareb on March 21, 2021 and linking the attack to Russia as well as the regime.
  • Images from the Syrian Archive report detailing the alleged Russian/regime airstrike against Al Atarib Hospital on March 21, 2021
  • Images from the Syrian Archive report detailing the alleged Russian/regime airstrike against Al Atarib Hospital on March 21, 2021
  • Images from the Syrian Archive report detailing the alleged Russian/regime airstrike against Al Atarib Hospital on March 21, 2021
  • Images from the Syrian Archive report detailing the alleged Russian/regime airstrike against Al Atarib Hospital on March 21, 2021
  • Images from the Syrian Archive report detailing the alleged Russian/regime airstrike against Al Atarib Hospital on March 21, 2021
  • Images from the Syrian Archive report detailing the alleged Russian/regime airstrike against Al Atarib Hospital on March 21, 2021
  • Images from the Syrian Archive report detailing the alleged Russian/regime airstrike against Al Atarib Hospital on March 21, 2021
  • Images from the Syrian Archive report detailing the alleged Russian/regime airstrike against Al Atarib Hospital on March 21, 2021
  • Images from the Syrian Archive report detailing the alleged Russian/regime airstrike against Al Atarib Hospital on March 21, 2021
  • Images from the Syrian Archive report detailing the alleged Russian/regime airstrike against Al Atarib Hospital on March 21, 2021
  • Images from the Syrian Archive report detailing the alleged Russian/regime airstrike against Al Atarib Hospital on March 21, 2021
  • Images from the Syrian Archive report detailing the alleged Russian/regime airstrike against Al Atarib Hospital on March 21, 2021
  • Images from the Syrian Archive report detailing the alleged Russian/regime airstrike against Al Atarib Hospital on March 21, 2021
  • Images from the Syrian Archive report detailing the alleged Russian/regime airstrike against Al Atarib Hospital on March 21, 2021
  • Images from the Syrian Archive report detailing the alleged Russian/regime airstrike against Al Atarib Hospital on March 21, 2021
  • Images from the Syrian Archive report detailing the alleged Russian/regime airstrike against Al Atarib Hospital on March 21, 2021
  • Images from the Syrian Archive report detailing the alleged Russian/regime airstrike against Al Atarib Hospital on March 21, 2021
  • Images from the Syrian Archive report detailing the alleged Russian/regime airstrike against Al Atarib Hospital on March 21, 2021
  • Images from the Syrian Archive report detailing the alleged Russian/regime airstrike against Al Atarib Hospital on March 21, 2021
  • Images from the Syrian Archive report detailing the alleged Russian/regime airstrike against Al Atarib Hospital on March 21, 2021
  • Images from the Syrian Archive report detailing the alleged Russian/regime airstrike against Al Atarib Hospital on March 21, 2021
  • Image translation: One of the Syrian pain stories One of the victims of artillery bombardment of Al-Atarab Hospital is the young orphan ′′ Mohamed Abdel Hamid Haji Ahmad ′′ (18 years old) who married nearly (10 months ago) and his wife is eighth month pregnant with his father and sister are martyrs of victims Assad's regime bombardment and brought his mother to the hospital for a doctor, but Assad bombardment killed a young man ′′ Muhammad ′′ and his sick mother was shrapneled after which was transferred to Bab Al-Hawa Hospital to receive aid. (Image posted by Mahmood Talha via Facebook)
  • Image caption translation: After the funeral of his father.. the wife of the martyr ′′ Mohamed Abdel Hamid Haji Ahmad ′′ who was killed by Russia in Al-Atarab Hospital.. makes an orphaned child. (Image posted by Thiqa Agency via Facebook)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • A tweet from @MarkCutts shows the damage caused by the airstrike on the Al Atarib hospital on March 21, 2021
  • A tweet from @rien4djri shows a schedule of Syrian regime and Russian planes flying over Al Atareb on March 21, 2021.
  • Caption translation: Medics stand next to the body of a victim following an artillery attack on at Al-Atareb City Hospital. 7 civilians including a child and a woman were killed and 15 medical personnel working at Al-Atareb City Hospital, Aleppo together with visitors were wounded as the Assad regime forces targeted the hospital with several artillery shells, making the hospital out of service. Syrian Civil Defense teams are treating the wounded at the nearest hospital and transported the bodies of the dead to their families.
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Caption translation: Medics stand next to the body of a victim following an artillery attack on at Al-Atareb City Hospital. 7 civilians including a child and a woman were killed and 15 medical personnel working at Al-Atareb City Hospital, Aleppo together with visitors were wounded as the Assad regime forces targeted the hospital with several artillery shells, making the hospital out of service. Syrian Civil Defense teams are treating the wounded at the nearest hospital and transported the bodies of the dead to their families.
  • Caption translation: Medics stand next to the body of a victim following an artillery attack on at Al-Atareb City Hospital. 7 civilians including a child and a woman were killed and 15 medical personnel working at Al-Atareb City Hospital, Aleppo together with visitors were wounded as the Assad regime forces targeted the hospital with several artillery shells, making the hospital out of service. Syrian Civil Defense teams are treating the wounded at the nearest hospital and transported the bodies of the dead to their families.
  • Caption translation: Medics stand next to the body of a victim following an artillery attack on at Al-Atareb City Hospital. 7 civilians including a child and a woman were killed and 15 medical personnel working at Al-Atareb City Hospital, Aleppo together with visitors were wounded as the Assad regime forces targeted the hospital with several artillery shells, making the hospital out of service. Syrian Civil Defense teams are treating the wounded at the nearest hospital and transported the bodies of the dead to their families.
  • Caption translation: Medics stand next to the body of a victim following an artillery attack on at Al-Atareb City Hospital. 7 civilians including a child and a woman were killed and 15 medical personnel working at Al-Atareb City Hospital, Aleppo together with visitors were wounded as the Assad regime forces targeted the hospital with several artillery shells, making the hospital out of service. Syrian Civil Defense teams are treating the wounded at the nearest hospital and transported the bodies of the dead to their families.
  • Caption translation: Medics stand next to the body of a victim following an artillery attack on at Al-Atareb City Hospital. 7 civilians including a child and a woman were killed and 15 medical personnel working at Al-Atareb City Hospital, Aleppo together with visitors were wounded as the Assad regime forces targeted the hospital with several artillery shells, making the hospital out of service. Syrian Civil Defense teams are treating the wounded at the nearest hospital and transported the bodies of the dead to their families.
  • Caption translation: Medics stand next to the body of a victim following an artillery attack on at Al-Atareb City Hospital. 7 civilians including a child and a woman were killed and 15 medical personnel working at Al-Atareb City Hospital, Aleppo together with visitors were wounded as the Assad regime forces targeted the hospital with several artillery shells, making the hospital out of service. Syrian Civil Defense teams are treating the wounded at the nearest hospital and transported the bodies of the dead to their families.
  • Caption translation: Medics stand next to the body of a victim following an artillery attack on at Al-Atareb City Hospital. 7 civilians including a child and a woman were killed and 15 medical personnel working at Al-Atareb City Hospital, Aleppo together with visitors were wounded as the Assad regime forces targeted the hospital with several artillery shells, making the hospital out of service. Syrian Civil Defense teams are treating the wounded at the nearest hospital and transported the bodies of the dead to their families.

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the Al Maghara Hospital (مشفى المغارة), within Al Atarib (أتارب‎), for which the exact coordinates, as reported by The Syrian Archive, are: 36.154972, 36.842553.

  • Imagery:
    Google Earth

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
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 8
  • (1 child1 woman4 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    11–22
  • 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 (62) [ collapse]